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Fall Preview Friday: Sew Sweet Creatures

May 22, 2015, 09:00 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

I can’t wait for the release of our upcoming title Sew Sweet Creatures! The book contains instructions for creating 16 adorable plush projects—each with its own accessories.

 

Anna the Snuggly Llama has a hat, blanket, and booties, Samuel the Superhero Pig is ready to save the day with his cape and mask, the Adventurer Bear has a backpack and camera for his travels, the Owl and Pussycat are ready for a peaceful sleep with a cloud pillow and their favorite book, and Petula Lark, the “mod chick” has go-go boots, a poncho, and a cute retro cap. These are just a few of the cute projects included in this book.

 

Sew Sweet Creatures will be available in the fall and you can pre-order the book HERE. In the meantime, check out a few images from the book below and visit the designer’s websites to see what they’re currently up to!

 

Adventurer Bear

Adventurer Bear by Jessica Fediw

 

Mod Chick

Mod Chick by Suzie Millions

 

Owl and Pussycat

Owl and Pussycat by Aimee Ray

Snuggly Llama

Snuggly Llama by Mollie Johanson

 

Superhero Pig

Superhero Pig by Laura Howard 

 
 
 
 
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Winter has finally breathed its last, frigid gasp and spring is really here! Crocuses are in bloom, trees are budding, and it’s time to shed those winter coats for some lighter layers.

 

The patterns in Designer Crochetby Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby, are constructed with lightweight yarns, so if you’re looking for fashion forward crochet projects using lace, superfine, fine, and lightweight yarns, look no further.

 

The Beginner Cardi is a staple for every wardrobe and can really be worn in any season as a layering piece.

 

Beginner Cardi

 

The Motif Maxi Skirt is a showstopper piece that will take you from spring to summer in style.

 

Maxi Skirt

 

The Sleeveless Hoodie is great as a jacket, a vest, a light layer, you name it.

 

Sleeveless Hoodie

 

Wear it as a tank on a hot day or dress it up as a shell under a blazer or cardigan, the Solid Tank is another staple for every wardrobe.

 

Solid Tank

 

Every pattern contains instructions for sizes small to 5X and with 32 patterns to choose from there is plenty to choose from for most shapes, sizes, and styles. Designer Crochet is out now, so pick up your copy today!

 
 
 
 
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One + OneThe Hartford Knitting Examiner posted a wonderful review of Iris Schreier’s One + One: Wraps, Cowls & Capelets yesterday! Paula Moliver takes us through some of her favorite projects from the book, and provides a slideshow of the great pieces featured within.

 

Read her review HERE to find some knitting inspiration for the spring. And be sure to order a copy of One + One: Wraps, Cowls & Capelets today!

 
 
 
 
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One of the reasons I wrote Lace Yarn Studio was because a lot of knitters have the wrong idea about lace weight yarns. In the hope of convincing some skeptical knitters about the virtues of superfine yarn, here is my list of the top five myths about lace weight yarn.

 

introphoto

 

1. “Lace weight yarns take too long to knit.”

As a knitter, you’re no doubt familiar with the concept of stitch gauge – the number of individual stitches that fit into a unit of measurement. Worsted-weight yarn tends to be knit at a gauge of around five stitches per inch. So to get an inch’s worth of fabric, you must work five stitches. As yarn gets smaller in diameter, it takes more stitches to fit into an inch’s worth of fabric. Sport weight yarn, for example, a category of yarn finer than worsted weight, usually knits at around six stitches per inch, and sock yarn at seven stitches per inch. Since lace weight is even finer than sock yarn, then it stands to reason that it would take even longer to create an inch of fabric, right?

 

Not necessarily. When we use lace weight yarn to create airy, filmy fabric, we knit at a looser gauge than you otherwise might expect. For example, the Graciela Pullover uses lace weight yarn at a gauge of 3 ½  stitches per inch. The Turquoise Trail Shawluses lace weight yarn at a gauge of 4 ½ stitches per inch. So projects using lace weight yarn, when knit at relaxed gauges, won’t take appreciably longer than many projects knit in thick yarns.

 

photoATurquoise Trail Shawl, by Erika Flory

 

2. “I don’t like knitting on toothpick-sized needles.”

While it’s generally true that big yarn is knit on big needles, and small yarn is knit on small needles, when you are working with lace weight yarn, you often use needles bigger than you’d expect. Projects in Lace Yarn Studio are knit with many sizes of needle including US 5, 6, 7, 9, even US size 13, the latter of which were used to knit the Malbec Infinity Scarf.

 

photoBMalbec Infinity Scarf, by Carol J. Sulcoski

 

3. “Thicker yarns can do anything a lace weight yarn can do.”

Definitely not. Because thicker yarns make thicker fabric, there are certain effects that just don’t work with bulky and superbulky yarns. Look, for example, at the beautiful pleats in the A Little Luxe Gauntlets.

 

photoCA Little Luxe Gauntlets, by Andi Smith

 

You’d have a very hard time making pleats in chunky or superchunky yarns because the individual strands of yarn would be too thick to manipulate in that way, and even if you were able to make a pleat, it wouldn’t have the elegance and fluid lines of the gorgeous lace weight yarn that designer Andi Smith used.

 

Check out the filmy texture of Barb Brown’s Wind on the Waves scarf. Again, it’s very difficult to achieve this kind of airy, almost translucent effect with a thick yarn. But the lovely hand-painted lace weight yarn gives such a delicate and ethereal feel – something a jumbo-sized yarn just cannot do.

 

PhotoDWind on the Waves Scarf, by Barbara J. Brown

 

4. “I’m not a good enough knitter to use lace weight yarns.”

Pshaw. The patterns in Lace Yarn Studio span all difficulty levels. The Eden Scarf, for example, uses stockinette stitch and seed stitch – two stitches that are very easy to work and well within the province of a beginner.

 

photoEEden Scarf, by Carol J. Sulcoski

 

Robyn Schrager’s Square in the Round poncho is entirely stockinette and is knit in the round, so you don’t even have to sew a single seam! The Multiply Baby Blanket is another project knit all in the round, using simple knit and purl stitches, along with a basic increase stitch – and because three strands of lace weight are held together, the knitting flies by as you change colors.

 

photoFSquare in the Round Poncho by Robyn M. Schrager

 

5. “I don’t like knitting lace shawls.”

Every knitter is different, and if you aren’t a fan of lace knitting or lace shawls in particular, then you will still find many fun and stylish projects to pique your curiosity. Brooke Nico’s Cobalt Nights jacket uses a metallic yarn in a star-stitch, for an un-lacy layer you’ll wear all the time. Elizabeth Morrison’s Blue River Cowl uses a slip stitch pattern to make a cozy and lovely cowl with a terrific button closure. Michele Hunter’s top uses a plying method to create a striking top. There’s a little something for everyone in Lace Yarn Studio, even if you hate lace and don’t wear shawls.

 

photoGBlue River Cowl, by Elizabeth Morrison

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

 
 
 
 
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Lark Crafts DIY: Operation Easter Knitting

April 03, 2015, 10:07 am  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

Are you the resident crafter in your family? It’s definitely a badge of honor, but when you’re running late on that Easter basket it turns last-minute crafting into an art form!

 

DIY Easter 1

 

For my niece’s Easter basket I decided to go with a different approach—I wanted something cute and fun, but also useful.

 

Step one: the Bag-sket!

Instead of a traditional basket I decided to make her a reusable bag using Laura Spradlin’s “Grrlfriend Market Bag” free pattern on Ravelry. I used a solid color for the base and handles and a variegated color for the body to produce a bright, fun, machine washable, reusable bag/basket. A bag-sket!

 

DIY Easter 2

 

You’ll be starting at the bottom, center of the bag and working up. Here’s a helpful tutorial for Emily Ocker’s cast-on from New Stitch a Day. It was my first time using this technique, so a tutorial was essential for me.

 

DIY Easter 3

 

Step two: the Easter bunny!

No basket is complete without a furry bunny friend to deliver the holiday goodies. I opted for Susan B. Anderson’s “Rabbit” pattern, which is another free Ravelry download.

 

DIY Easter 4

 

My bunny tail turned out slightly huge, but I say go big or go home and this giant pom helps this guys stand up straight. Win-win!

 

DIY Easter 5

 

Susan also created an absolutely essential video tutorial on embroidering faces to a knitted toy, just the thing I needed to create a simple, but adorable face on this little fella.

 

Step three: the final touch—a carrot!

Easter bunnies get hungry too, y’know? I had a tiny bit of time left so I decided to make a little something for him to nibble on while waiting patiently for Easter Sunday.  I used Emily Ivey’s “Carrot: It’s Good for You” pattern, again another fun, free Ravelry download.

 

DIY Easter 6

 

Mine turned out a liiiiittle ridiculously huge, but what bunny doesn’t love a huge meal?

 

DIY Easter 7

 

(Optional) Step four: bunny scarf

If you’re worried that your bunny will get cold I recommend knitting up a tiny scarf with whatever sport weight yarn scraps you have lying around. Here’s what I did:

–Using any cast-on method, CO enough stitches until you reach 4” (10cm).

–Knit 8 rows

–BO

–Tie on a few strands to each end for fringe

 

DIY Easter 8

 

Quick, cute, and warm. :-)

Now throw in some sweet treats and your bag-sket is ready to go!

 

DIY Easter 9

 

Happy Easter from the Lark family to yours!

 
 
 
 
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Check out our Fat Quarters blogger roundup

March 24, 2015, 10:49 am  Posted by Deborah Stack
 

Fat QuartersFat Quarters hit shelves last week, and we couldn’t be more excited — but we’re not the only ones! Everyone is buzzing about this fantastic book and its many fun ideas for crafts to make with Fat Quarters. 

 

We’ve compiled a roundup of blog posts from the book’s talented contributors about all the cool projects featured in this handy book. Browse through to get a sneak peek of some of the awesome projects you’ll find in the book, including baskets, blankets, quilts, curtains, and much more!

 

Take a look at some of our contributors’ blog posts below and be sure to order your copy here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Aimee Ray’s newest addition to her popular Doodle Stitching series hits stores in April!

Doodle Stitching Transfer

 

Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack is a one-stop resource with 300 of her most popular motifs, including 30 new designs. The best part of the book…perforated iron-on pages!

 

There’s no need for tracing or photocopying here. Just tear-out the pages, iron the reusable patterns onto your fabric of choice, and start stitching flowers, letters, embellishments and so much more. There’s even a sealable envelope to store the motifs for future applications. It’s so fun and simple!

 

Pre-order your copy today!

 
 
 
 
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Designer CrochetIt’s no secret that I love crochet cables. I’ve peppered cables throughout my patterns for years, taking joy in their twisting and vine-like winding. They can add visual intrigue to the most simple stitches and heck, they are fun to work with! Some of my favorite cables are in my new book, Designer Crochet: 32 Patterns to Elevate Your Style, coming out in April from Lark Crafts. Just take a peek at the cover and right there you’ll see a gigantic crochet cable on the cowl of a tunic dress, one of the many sophisticated and figure-flattering garments included in the book.

 

“But wait,” you say. “I’ve never learned how to crochet cables. Can you teach me?” Yes, yes I can, because I’m a Craftsy Instructor! WOOHOO!!

 

I have been a long-time fan of Craftsy and have taken classes from such greats as Shirley Paden, Gwen Bortner, Carol Feller, and Faina Goberstein. And now I am proud to be counted amongst those world-class Craftsy instructors. Dang… still blows me away to say that!

 

So, without further delay, here is the official announcement that my very first Craftsy Crochet Class is LIVE!  You can have unlimited access to me teaching my Quick & Easy Crochet Cables class on Craftsy for only $14.99! WOOHOO!! No kidding! This is an exciting new compact class format Craftsy is introducing with more convenient class sections designed to fit into a busy maker’s schedule. Y’all are gonna LOVE it!

 

Crochet Cables

 

So what is Quick & Easy Crochet Cables all about?

 

Quick & Easy Crochet Cables focuses on crochet cables taught through applying a technique to an accompanying class project. In this class I take you step-by-step through the process of how to make basic crossed crochet post stitches all the way through those glorious sweeping, turning, dramatic cables we all love. Along the way, I share all of my tips and tricks to make crochet cables fun and easy!

 

The exciting part is I teach you all of this using a FAB class project! You get to apply what you are learning right away without wondering how you are going to use these stitches in real life. You will learn by doing, and I’ll be there with you every step of the way!

 

The class project includes a written pattern, a chart, and finishing instructions. And you know what? Because this is a Craftsy class, I’ll be right there with you to walk you through how to make the cable stitches AND how to easily read a cable chart AND how to finish the project. You have me personally taking you through step-by-step from the very first stitch through weaving in that last end (there’s a special trick about that I share too).

 

By the time we are finished, you’ll have a FAB finished project. Here’s a sneak peek at that project pattern. In class we turn it into a FAB envelope clutch! Oh… and don’t worry if a clutch isn’t your thing… I’ll be sharing in the class forums how I used this pattern to make a special project just for myself!

 

Oh yeah… some of you have probably noticed one of the small photos is of our WILDLY popular Woven Cables crochet pattern stitch. Yes, there’s even a segment of this class where we walk you through the Woven Cables pattern stitch step-by-step! When you are finished, you’ll be shocked by how nimble your crochet hook is around cables!

 

The BEST part of these Craftsy classes is you can watch them whenever, and wherever you like, and you can watch them as often as you like too, since your purchase never expires! Have a few minutes to watch a segment? Need to go back and see one of our tips & tricks again? Want to watch that technique one more time to get it juuuuust right? You can do ALL that with a Craftsy class!

 

PLUS you have exclusive access to me personally in our virtual Craftsy classroom. If you have questions or want to show off your FAB stitches, you will always know where to find me. I’ll be right there to help out and celebrate with you!

 

So click on my special link below to be whisked away to Quick & Easy Crochet Cables on Craftsy and get started! You could be learning all my tips and tricks and showing off your own crochet cables skills today!!

 

CLICK HERE: www.craftsy.com/ext/ShannonMullett-Bowlsby_4975_F

 

Once you have completed the project in my Craftsy class, you will be totally ready for any of the crochet cables found in Designer Crochet. And now, a little more on that:

 

Designer Crochet is your source for sophisticated and figure-flattering garments with great drape and shape. Using lightweight yarns and a beautiful variety of stitch patterns and motifs, you’ll create jackets and cardigans, a layering tank and a floor-sweeping skirt, a convertible vest/wrap and matching winter accessory set, and more, with every design built to flatter most body types. Beginner crocheters can learn the basics using easy-to-follow tutorials while advanced crocheters will enjoy mastering special techniques. This is a complete wardrobe in a single book for sizes small through 5X.

 

Designer Crochet will be available in bookstores this April. But don’t wait until then! The book is now available for pre-order, and if you send an email to Designer.Crochet@Yahoo.com with proof of purchase before April 1st, you will be entered into a lottery for 2 chances to win an entire project’s worth of yarn! That’s right, folks. I will be sending 2 people enough yarn to create either the Beginner Cardi or the Lace Tank projects (both pictures below). Big thanks to our yarn sponsors for providing the Cascade 220 Superwash Sport (Beginner Cardi) and Crystal Palace Panda Silk (Lace Tank)! I’ll also throw in a signed book plate for you to add into your copy of Designer Crochet when it arrives. So don’t wait until April to order your very own copy (which you can do by clicking here). And while you’re waiting for the book to arrive, I hope to see you in class!

 

Stitch on!

Shannon

 

card
Beginner Cardi

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport

 

Crochet This Final (42 of 149) T2CT Tank 2 (2)

Lace Tank

Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda Silk

 

 

Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby is the co-founder of Shibaguyz Designz, a versatile design company that uses unique flair to combine fashion design, knitting, crochet, photography, and graphic design into a cohesive whole. He takes his instruction all over the country, selling out classes along the way and building a following of happy students. You can find Shannon’s designs in countless magazines such as Crochet! and Knitting Today, or in one of his many books, including, Designer Crochet: 32 Patterns to Elevate Your Style, now available for pre-order through Barnes and Noble.

 
 
 
 
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aimee ray (3)Aimee Ray is no stranger to the Lark community. She’s become quite the prolific contributor over the years, and her designs are known for their fun, lively aesthetic. With her latest addition to the popular Doodle Stitching Series coming this Spring (Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack), I wanted to check-in with Aimee and learn more about her influences and creative approach. Check out our Q&A below, and make sure to look through the entire series for unique embroidery patterns and fun sewing projects!

 

How did you get started stitching?

Starting when I was about 5, my grandma used to bring samplers for me to learn on when she came to visit. I picked embroidery up again several years ago as an adult, just as a personal creative outlet. I did computer design work all day and hand stitching was (and still is) a great way to let out my own creativity, in a relaxing and primitive medium, completely different digital art.

 

What was the inspiration/idea behind the Doodle Stitching series?

It was really just born out of my own doodles that I turned into embroidery patterns. I had great encouragement from internet friends and my personal designs led to the creation of all of my books.

 

Doodle Stitching Transfer

Aimee Ray’s new book Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack hits stores this April.

 

What are some new projects you’re excited to share with readers in this book?

While it largely contains motifs from previous books, these are all on iron-on transfer paper, making them even easier and quicker to stitch up! That’s something I’ve wanted to produce all along. You’ll also find several brand new patterns in there that aren’t available anywhere else.

 

Do you have a favorite motif?

I don’t think I could pick just one, but my favorites to work on always seem to be fairy tale or Asian-inspired motifs.

 

What are the essentials for someone looking to start stitching?

All you really need is a needle, floss in your favorite colors, a hoop and some kind of fabric. Embroidery is super versatile and it’s easy to add embellishment to almost any craft project or existing fabric item.

 

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring items to complete one project, what would you bring?

I see myself bringing enough fabric, floss and needles to create some enormous embroidered art quilt or tapestry that would never really be finished, I could just keep adding to it as long as I’m there. ;)

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitch Love Valentine Blog Hop

February 11, 2015, 10:34 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

Hello, Lark Crafts Friends!

 

With Valentine’s Day in just a few days, what could be more perfect than to make something sweet for someone you care about? Or perhaps something special for yourself? No matter who you are stitching for, my book Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small is the perfect way to get started.

 

Along the idea of stitching love, we’re having a little Valentine blog hop! Be sure to visit all of the stops along the way this week. You’ll see fun and simple things to make AND you’ll pick up some free patterns featuring a few of my critter friends celebrating Valentine’s Day!

 

WombatBrooch (3)

 

Have you heard of a hairy-nosed wombat? Well, this is heart-nosed wombat! He’s just a baby, and I promise that he’ll love you forever.

 

I stitched up this little guy on linen (I printed the pattern at 75% for the brooch), then I used the instructions for the Undersea Buddies Brooch Trio from Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small. This is one of those projects that is quick to put together, and you can use any motif with it!

 

Wouldn’t you love to have a little wombat on your winter coat? The embroidery motif is free for you! Just download the PDF and get ready to stitch!

 

StitchLove_ValentineWombatPattern

StitchLove_ValentineWombatPattern

 

We’ve also got a little something extra. One lucky winner will receive this hand-stitched Heart-Nosed Wombat brooch, plus the set of Undersea Buddies brooches, AND a copy of Stitch Love, compliments of Lark Crafts.

 

To enter, leave a comment (maybe you’d like to share what animal you’d like to stitch the most!), and we’ll select a random winner. Giveaway ends Sunday, February 15 at 9pm EST .

 

And don’t miss all the other patterns on the Stitch Love Valentine Blog Hop!

 

Monday: Shiny Happy World & Wild Olive

 

Tuesday: Little Dear Tracks

 

Wednesday: Lark Crafts

 

Thursday: Hugs Are Fun

 

Friday: Feeling Stitchy

 

Saturday: Pretty By Hand & Wild Olive

 

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Mollie Johanson is the creator of the popular blog Wild Olive (wildolive.blogspot.com) and Etsy store (where she’s sold over 3000 embroidery motif downloads). Her designs have appeared in Heart-Felt Holidays and Felt-o-ween (both Lark), in magazines (including several features in Mollie Makes), and in craft books from other publishers. Mollie lives in St. Charles, IL.