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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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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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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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Bring on the Luck of the Irish!

March 04, 2016, 12:00 pm  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

61Ou85QzfeLAs some of you might know from last year’s post, St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in my family. Over the years I’ve donned everything green, ate all the corned beef and humiliated my friends with ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ pins. This year, I wanted to do something different with my affinity for the holiday.

Well, I didn’t need to look very far for inspiration. Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching The Holiday Motif Collection was sitting right on my desk, daring me to get creative. For those of you who haven’t seen this book, I suggest you get your hands on it. It’s filled with over 300 embroidery motifs designed specifically for the holidays and seasons. It even comes with a CD with all of the motifs in simple black lines so you can enlarge, edit or combine them as you like!

The book has the perfect motifs for St. Patrick’s Day. You can add them to tea towels, clothes, tote bags, pillows, and your own personalized cards. Below are a few to wet your shamrocks. I plan on adding that leprechaun to the elbows of my green sweater this year!

You can also download the black lined PDFs of these motifs here: LeprechaunPot of Gold, and Shamrock. Grab a copy for you or a loved one now!

Buy here: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, IndieBound

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
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Wedding Papercrafts – Free Project!

February 24, 2016, 11:00 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 
Invitation from Wedding Papercrafts

Click to enlarge

In celebration of the upcoming release of Wedding Papercrafts, we’re offering a free download of the Paper-Cut Garden Vine Invitation template from the book.

With just a craft knife, some sketch paper, and a backing cardstock in a color to match your scheme, you can create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind keepsake wedding invitation to impress your guests. If you don’t currently have a wedding to plan, consider making these invitations for an “It’s Finally Spring!” get-together.

Find the instructions and template for creating the invitation below, and pre-order your copy of Wedding Papercrafts at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or IndieBound.

 

 

 

Materials & Tools:

• Download: Paper Cut Invitation Template

• One sheet of regular copy paper

• One sheet of colored cardstock, at least 9 x 9 inches (22.8 x 22.8 cm)

• One sheet of white sketch paper

• Craft knife

• Metal ruler

• Cutting mat

• Craft glue

• Small, soft paintbrush

• Tape

Instructions:

Wedding Papercrafts Cover1. Copy the invitation design template onto regular copy paper. Cut the template outline from the copy paper and lay it over the white sketch paper. Use tape to affix the template to the sketch paper to keep it in place as you cut. Be sure to use a cutting mat to protect your work surface.

TIP: If you’ve never used a craft knife before, practice working with the template, cardstock, craft knife, and cutting mat first.

2. Cut along the lines of the design template, using firm pressure to ensure that the blade is slicing through both the thin copy paper and the slightly heavier sketch paper. Take your time and be sure to keep your fingers away from the blade. You can rotate the paper as you go to make cutting in different directions easier. As you move from piece to piece, position the blade below the surface of the two layers of paper on the last cut to “pop” out the paper pieces.

3. When you finish cutting the entire template, gently move your hand over the copy paper to feel the grooves made by the blade to make sure you haven’t missed any lines before removing the design template.

4. Lift the copy paper template from the sketch paper. If a few pieces of the cutout still remain, rescore the lines with your craft knife and gently pull the pieces out. Clean up any jagged or unclean lines with the blade of the craft knife.

5. Using a metal ruler to guide the craft knife, cut the colored cardstock backing 7¼ x 5 ¾ inches (18.4 x 14.6 cm).

6. Brush a thin layer of glue on the back of the paper cutting and affix it to the colored cardstock. Let the card dry, then place it beneath a stack of heavy books to ensure it lays flat.

 

 
 
 
 
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Holiday Gift Tags by Cynthia Schaffer

December 24, 2015, 10:20 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

If you’re a last minute shopper like most people in my family, chances are you’re also in desperate need of a card or note to attach to that gift you just waited 45 minutes in line for. A quick, easy, and fun solution is a gift tag. With free-motion stitching goddess Cynthia Shaffer’s project below, you can easily make a pretty and festive gift tag to adorn all of those presents.

 

What you need:

  • Shipping tag, 2 3/8 x 4 ¾ inches (6 x 12 cm)
  • Scrap of red print fabric
  • Glue stick
  • Sewing machine with a free motion or quilting foot
  • Black thread
  • Acrylic paints in turquoise, orange and white
  • Small paintbrush
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • One page of old book text
  • Black watercolor pencil
  • 10 inches (25.4 cm) of ½-inch (1.3 cm) wide black rayon ribbon

 

What you do:

1. Cut out random small shapes from the fabric and arrange them onto the tag.
KF6A7145

 

2. Glue the fabric shapes into place.

Tags-004

 

3. Free motion stitch around the fabric shapes and then onto the tag.

KF6A7149

 

4. Using the fine-tip marker doodle on the tag around the stitched shapes.
5. With turquoise paint fill in some of the stitched and doodled shapes.

KF6A7152

 

6. Cut out small shapes from the book text and glue them to the fabric.
7. Free motion stitch the book text into place.
8. Paint the tag with orange and turquoise paint and blend in a messy manner. Note: I wasn’t liking the way this tag was turning out so I simply covered up all my previous doodling with the paint!

KF6A7162

 

9. Using the watercolor pencil, doodle around the stitched scallops and blend a bit with water.

KF6A7163

 

10. Attached the black ribbon tie the tag onto a gift.

Tags-022

 

Cynthia Shaffer is a mixed media artist, creative sewer, and photographer. For more of Cynthia’s gorgeous work, check out her most recent Lark title, Simply Stitched Gifts, as well as any of her previously published Lark titles; Stash Happy Patchwork (Lark, 2011), Stash Happy Appliqué (Lark, 2012), co-author of Serge It (Lark 2014) author of Coastal Crafts (Lark, 2015).

 
 
 
 
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Two Prizes for Two Winners!

December 23, 2015, 14:22 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Our last giveaway of the year is a double-header! These are two separate giveaways, but your comment below will enter you into both! Just tell us what your crafting goals are for 2016 to enter. The contest is open to all residents of the US and Canada. Winners will be selected randomly on January 4, 2016. Good luck, and Happy Holidays from the Lark team!

Prize Pack 1

Yarn-032Chunky Knits: 31 Projects for You & Your Home Knit with Bulky Yarn
by Ashley Little

Dive needles-first into the cozy, lush, reach-out-and-touch-me world of chunky knits! Created by Ashley Little and a talented pool of designers, these 31 projects use one, two, and three+ skeins of chic bulky and super-bulky yarn. Featuring sumptuous cowls, lacy scarves, a draped waffle-weave throw, a cable-knit pillowcase, classic cream-toned cable mittens and a matching hat, plus clutches, jewelry, and other scene-stealing pieces, this on-trend collection is perfect for new knitters, as well as those looking for fresh inspiration.

One winner will receive:
One copy of Chunky Knits
Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn in Tide Pool
Set of 4 Blue Moon Button Art Corozo Intrigue Buttons (20 mm)
ChiaoGoo RED Lace Circular Needles in US 9 (5.50mm) with a 16″ cable

BONUS: Free Pattern! Download the Chunky Knits – Button-Up Slouchy Hat pattern here!

 

Prize Pack 2

Yarn-034Crochet Boutique: Hats: 25 Fresh Takes on Classic Crochet Hat Designs
by Rachael Oglesby

With their contemporary, fashion-forward spin on classic patterns, these 25 hats are sure to hook crocheters everywhere! Featuring popular author Rachael Oglesby’s signature style, the designs include an ombre-dipped beanie, a raffia boater hat, slouchy patterned stunners, and more. Some even have unisex appeal. In addition to crochet basics, Oglesby provides fun for intermediates, with dip-dyeing, cable work, multiple yarn colors, and wrapping. 

One winner will recieve:
one copy of Crochet Boutique: Hats
Madelinetosh  A.S.A.P. yarn in Edison Bulb
Boye crochet hook size Q (15.75 mm)

BONUS: Free Pattern! Download the Crochet Boutique Hats – Neon Pom pattern here!

 
 
 
 
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FREE Pattern plus GIVEAWAY!

December 21, 2015, 11:27 am  Posted by Lark
 

One+oneToday we’re giving away our first of three prize packs!

One + one = just two skeins of yarn! That’s all it takes to create these gorgeously wearable accessories, created by bestselling knitwear author Iris Schreier and 15 featured designers. Ranging from the delectable Star Stitch Shoulder Wrap to a reversible Double Eyelet Lace Cowl in luxurious cashmere, to a lacy Vineyard Shawl with beaded pearls and sequins, this chic collection includes 29 projects in all.  Many of the garments can be worn in a variety of ways, and the patterns are perfect for beginner and intermediate knitters.

This giveaway includes one copy of One + One Wraps, Cowls, & Capelets by Iris Schreier plus two skeins of luxurious TSCArtyarns Zara Hand-Dyed Yarn in the same colors as featured in the Old and New Shawl pattern that everyone can download for free right here! To enter, please comment below and tell us about your most recent crafting project! This contest is only available to residents in the US & Canada. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments below and will be notified on January 4th, 2016.

Happy Monday!

 

 
 
 
 
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Make a Cute Felt Ornament for Your Tree

December 08, 2015, 10:00 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

by Ellen B. Wright

Why are felt ornaments so awesome? Here are five reasons!

  1. They’re quick! It’s easy to finish a few in an afternoon.
  2. They’re cheap! Buy craft-sized squares of felt in a variety of colors for under a dollar at your local craft store (or online).
  3. They’re cute! There are all sorts of adorable patterns out there, including Lark’s very own Fa la la la Felt and ‘Tis the Season to Be Felt-y. They’ll look great on your tree or make great gifts.
  4. They’re easy! Simpler designs are accessible for beginning sewers, but still turn out looking good.
  5. They’re customizable! Simpler designs aren’t the only designs; we ambitious crafters can tackle more intricate styles.

You’ll be able to handle the basics once you’ve finished reading this short post. If you know how to thread a needle and stitch a basic running stitch, you’re more than prepared to make some adorable felt ornaments. (Back stitch, mattress stitch, and satin stitch will give you more options, if you know them or want to learn them, and tutorials are included in the books listed above.)

 

Designs

Felt ornaments run the gamut from completely flat to three-dimensional — almost like a stuffed animal. The most common variety, though, are the ones with a two-dimensional design but just a bit of shape. The base for that look: a front and back and a tiny amount of stuffing.

This tutorial will show you how to make two ornaments on the simpler side. The first: two triangles in green and a rectangle in red or brown — a Christmas tree! Second: two circles of a bright, matching color plus a rectangle of white at the top, and you’ve got a flattened version of a round Christmas bauble, a classic tree ornament.

Felt ornament 1

This year, I made several more complex ornaments: the faces of a Santa, a snowman, and a penguin, all of which started out as plain circles with other shapes added in. You could also make a little scene out of smaller scraps for a felt pseudo-snowglobe. Once you get started, the possibilities are endless.

Felt ornament 2

 

Embellishment

More felt. More felt, in contrasting or complementary colors, is the easiest way to embellish your ornaments. I attached them using a running stitch; you could also use fabric glue.

Ribbons. Plain or patterned, metallic or matte — almost anything would work on the right design. As with the felt, sew or glue it on.

Buttons, etc. We’re going to snazz up our tree with some multicolored buttons. Other similar options: sequins or mini jingle bells!

  1. I used a little bit of embroidery on my circular ornaments to make the Santa’s, reindeer’s and snowman’s eyes. Elegant embroidery contrasts well with the homey feel of felt to make stunning ornaments.

Most of the time, it’s easiest to do the embellishment before you sew the body of the ornament together, though there are exceptions. For my Santa and snowman, for example, I added the hat in after the rest of the ornament is finished.

 

Putting It All Together

1) Cut out two tall isosceles (two sides are the same length and the third is different) triangles of green felt and a square of brown or red felt, for the tree; two circles of a bright color (I’ve used red) and a white square for the baubles.

Felt ornament 3

2) Sew or glue on your embellishments. My tree is decorated with buttons, and the bauble with stripes of felt in other bright colors.

3) Place any pieces that need to stick out — tree trunk, the top of the bauble, ears or antlers, etc. — between the two layers of felt that make up the body of your ornament. Pin them in place.


felt 4 and 5

4) Sew around the outside of the ornament with mattress stitch in a contrasting color (I used black), stitching in any pieces you’ve placed between the two layers as you go. (You could also sew it up with a running stitch or a backstitch if you prefer.) Pause when about an inch is left open.

Felt ornament 6

5) Stuff the ornament lightly through that one-inch hole, then finish sewing around. Give the ornament a good massage to get the stuffing spread evenly.

6) Once you’re happy with your ornament, thread a bit of cord through the top, and you’re ready to hang it on your tree!

felt covers

For more holiday-themed felt ornaments as well as lots of project ideas for stockings, garlands, and decorations, pick up a copy of Fa la la la Felt and ‘Tis the Season to be Felt-y at your local bookstore today!

About the Author:

Ellen B. Wright works as a book publicist in New York City. Her mother taught her to sew, her grandmother taught her to knit, and they both taught her to take Christmas decorating very seriously.

 

 
 
 
 
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Lark Crafts DIY: Latvian Easter eggs

April 03, 2015, 15:00 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

My favorite Easter activity is coloring eggs. My father’s side of the family is Latvian, and every year I make traditional Latvian Easter eggs with my sister, great aunt, and grandmother. This year, I had a special kitchen buddy—Ernie. My sister’s 9-month-old Australian Shepherd is, like most dogs, very interested in any and all food prep, but Ernie seemed particularly fascinated by the Latvian Easter egg preparations.


ERNIE 2

 

Latvian Easter eggs are colored using dyes derived from all-natural materials—we color ours usingonion skins. It’s a really popular Latvian Easter egg-coloring method. The onion skins give the eggs a really beautiful earthy, rusty-red color and dried spices, herbs, leaves and/or flowers, wrapped or pressed around the egg and covered and held in place by the onion skins before boiling,  can result in really interesting shapes and patterns. You can also scratch the eggs after dying to create intricate designs.

 

What you’ll need:

Onion Skins

Nylon Stocking, Cheesecloth or, in a pinch, paper towels

Vinegar

Rubber bands (if using cheesecloth or paper towels)

Scissors

 

Optional:

Sharp tool for etching

Leaves, flowers, or other natural materials to create extra patterns on the egg

Vegetable oil or butter

 

First, collect a good amount of yellow onion skins. We bought a whole bag from the local grocery store, but some stores actually sell bags of just the skins.

 

Onion Skins

 

If you’d like to experiment with creating patterns using leaves and flowers on the egg, wrap them around the eggs first. (My sister and I dripped a little hot wax onto the egg to help keep the flowers and leaves in place before wrapping with the onion skins.)

 

Flower on Egg

 

Next, wrap the entire egg in onion skins (you can wet them first to make it easier to wrap them around each egg), then wrap each egg tightly with cheese cloth or paper towel and wrap each with a few rubber bands to keep everything in place while boiling. You can also use nylon stockings to create little bags for each covered egg. Simply cut pieces of the stocking big enough to cover each egg, place the egg in the stocking, pull the fabric tight around the egg to keep the onion in place and tie the stocking off at both ends.

 

Wrap onion skins around the egg

 

Place the eggs in a pot, add cold water and a little vinegar, and bring to a boil. Cook the eggs for 10-15 minutes. You’ll notice that the water will turn a red/orange color as the dye from the onion skins is extracted.

 

When the eggs are done, let them steep in the water for a few more minutes, then remove them from the water and let them cool. Use scissors to remove the rubber bands and the cheesecloth/paper towel/stocking and onion skins to reveal the color and patterns created by any plants. Peeling back the fabric and onions to reveal the color and patterns is the best part of the process. Use a sharp tool to scratch patterns into the egg if you like, then rub the eggs with vegetable oil or butter to give them a nice shine.

 

Dyed Eggs

 

Our eggs ended up with a lighter color (we could have used more onion skinsto make them darker) and a few of the leaves and flowers we added made interesting designs. We started to add a few etchings to the eggs with the point of some small scissors as well.

 

Ernie approved. Happy Easter!

 

Ernie with Eggs