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Fall Preview Friday: Chunky Knits

August 29, 2014, 10:00 am  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

There’s nothing I love more than instant gratification knitting. Chunky yarn + chunky needle = Chunky Knits.

 

Chunky Knits ($19.95, October 2014) by Ashley Little is a collection of 31 knitting patterns from 18 designers all using bulky and super-bulky yarns and is coming to a bookstore near you! There’s plenty to choose from to help you stay warm and toasty and to keep your home feeling snug and cozy this winter.

 

The Cozy Cable Hat and Mitten set by Vanessa Ewing works up quickly and is the perfect last-minute cold weather set to knit up when the temperature drops. If you’re a cable lover like me this one is going straight to the top of the knitting queue.

 

 

Snuggling up under a warm blanket with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and watching hours of Netflix is my idea of a perfect evening. Still need to knit yourself a toasty throw? The Honeycomb Throw by Ashley Little is your go-to pattern.

 

 

I come from a family that firmly believes in the old adage “waste not, want not.” That glass jar from last night’s pasta sauce would make a great drinking glass, pen cup, vase, or [fill in the blank], but it’s not the prettiest, right? No problem. The Jar Cozies by Megan Mannell will dress up any old jar. You can even make a matching set!

 

 

Knitting with bulky and super-bulky yarns is also great for gift knitting, so pre-order your copy of Chunky Knits today and jump start your holiday knitting plans.

 

About the author:

Ashley Little is a writer and editor who left her job at Martha Stewart to freelance in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. She has her hands in all kinds of crafts, from knitting to crocheting and sewing. When she’s not crafting, she’s eating peanut butter, listening to Paul McCartney, and playing ukulele—sometimes all three at the same time. You can see what Ashley is making on her blog, TheFeistyReadHead.blogspot.com.

 
 
 
 
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The third volume in the One + One series by Iris Schreier brings you 29 patterns of wraps, cowls, and capelets that can all be made with just two skeins.

I like to think that the ancient dilemma “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” can apply to patterns and yarn. When I walk into an LYS I’m often, nay, always overcome by gorgeous fibers that lead to impulse buying.

I negotiate with myself—“A sweater quantity is just too much without a pattern in mind. I’ll just buy one skein to give it a try. Just one.” Has this ever happened to you? If so, please check out One + One: Wraps, Cowls, and Capelets (September 2014). Your stash will thank you.

The patterns in this collection are perfect for those orphan single skeins you’ve collected. With a little creative combination you can pair two skeins to make the Sheer Rounds Shoulder Capelet by Laurie Kimmelstiel.

 

The stockinette rounds are knit with DK yarn held double while the sheer garter rounds use only a single strand.

The Elena Shawl by Jennifer Wood uses two skeins held double throughout to create an elegant feather and fan lace shawl that sits gracefully on the shoulders.

The Lace Muse Wrap by Lisa Hoffman combines one fingering weight and DK weight skein to produce a lace wrap with sparkly stripes.

The inventive patterns in this collection are made for stash busting, but they also don’t deter from a little stashing up as well.

Pick up your copy of One + One: Wraps, Cowls, & Capelets today!

 

Author bio:

Iris Schreier is the founder of Artyarns, a company that has built its reputation on producing luxurious, sophisticated, hand-dyed yarns of the highest quality. Taught by her mother, Iris has been knitting since she was about six years old. She has always been drawn to decorative and fanciful types of projects and is known best for her unique designs for modular knitting, lacework, and reversible knitwear. Iris is the author of several Lark books, including Exquisite Little Knits (with co-author Laurie Kimmelstiel), Modular Knits, Lacy Little Knits, Iris Schreier’s Reversible Knits, One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs, and One + One: Hats. Visit her Facebook page and see her designs and yarn on her website.

 
 
 
 
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Crochet Boutique: Hats — Free Pattern

August 20, 2014, 15:13 pm  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

While I was walking through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Sunday I spotted it—the leaves are starting to turn here in NYC. Yes, it’s still mostly green everywhere, but once you see the first leaves you know that fall is not far behind. That means it’s time to pick up that crochet hook, prepare for the coming cold, and Crochet Boutique: Hats by Rachael Oglesby is the perfect book to restart your fall stitching.

 

I love a brisk fall day, but I don’t love an early sunset. The Neon Pom is the perfect antidote for those of us who will inevitably feel sun starved by winter. We can make our own sunshine, so download your free copy of this pattern here: Neon Pom pattern

 

 

Pre-order your copy of Crochet Boutique: Hats and keep your eyes on this space for a fun giveaway in the coming weeks. Hint: there’s Madelinetosh involved. Yes, I’m excited!

 
 
 
 
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An Ode to Cephalopod Yarns

July 18, 2014, 16:36 pm  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

On Tuesday, July 15th, Sarah Eyre, co-owner of Cephalopod Yarns, announced the immediate closing of her beloved hand-dyed yarn business. For fiber lovers everywhere this news—and the unfortunate reasoning behind it—sent a ripple of mourning throughout the community. We mourn the only way a fiber lover knows how—we find the last existing skeins and stash up immediately.

Cephalopod Yarns’ final trunk show is taking place right now at KNIT Long Island in Roslyn, NY, so obviously a pilgrimage was born!

A bounty of delicious fiber came home with us, but don’t worry—we left plenty for the rest of you:


 

Sarah herself will be at KNIT Long Island on Monday, July 21st, for a fitting denouement to a brand that will be sorely missed. For location and store hours, visit KNIT Long Island’s website.

Huge thanks to Audrey Bernhard and Cheryl Lavenhar, co-owners of KNIT Long Island, for welcoming us to their store and letting us roam free. It was our first trip, but it will definitely not be our last!

(Pro Tip: Audrey hinted that Sarah may be bringing some additional remaining stock on Monday. This is not to be missed.)

 

Written by Connie Santisteban and Deborah Stack.

 
 
 
 
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It already feels like we’re approaching peak summer heat, but don’t worry! You don’t have to put your knitting away until Labor Day. There are plenty of yarns and projects that you can keep knitting all through the summer months, even if you don’t have air conditioning.

I’m the author of the Lark Crafts book, Sock Yarn Studio. Inside my book are over 25 different knitting patterns specially designed for sock yarn.

What’s the big deal about sock yarn? Well, it’s one of the lightest weights of knitting yarn they make. Because it’s lightweight, it’s especially suited for knitting in warmer weather. Instead of having thick yarn that sits in your lap in a big heavy pile and makes you perspire, sock yarn is thin and lightweight, and you can make an entire project with just one skein. You can also find lots of sock yarns that contain plant fibers, like cotton, silk, tencel and bamboo – fibers which are naturally cool.

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The first section of patterns in Sock Yarn Studio features projects that take only one skein of sock yarn, and many of them are small projects that knit up relatively fast. For example, the Lisatra Cowl is a pattern knit up in a blend of silk and wool, with a fun lacy pattern.

 

 

Another great pattern with lacy stitch work is the Vert Cap, designed by Hunter Hammersen. (I’m especially partial to this one because my daughter is the girl modeling the cap in the book!)

 

 

If you’ve ever wanted to try entrelac, the Thornapple Wristers are another fun project with a single strip of entrelac on each wrister – just enough to get the hang of it but not so much that it’s overwhelming. Elizabeth Morrison designed these wristers and they look fabulous when you knit them in a yarn with slowly morphing colors, like the Crystal Palace Sausalito used in the sample.

 

 

I’ll even fess up and tell you that I knit a couple of the projects in the book during the summer, in smaller bites. The Lizalu blanket is made from oddballs of leftover sock yarn. Even though it ends up as a big blanket, it’s knit in strips. I took the strips for the blanket with me all over the summer that I worked on the book.

 

 

I knit strips in the car, during a Phillies game, at cookouts, even on the beach. The strips are easy to work even if you’re not paying really close attention (or sipping a wine spritzer by the pool!) and you can knit a bunch of strips, use up leftover balls of yarn, and then join them when the weather gets a little cooler.

So dig out your copy of Sock Yarn Studio (or order it if you haven’t yet!) and find a great project in lightweight yarns to keep your needles clicking all through the summer. Cheers!

 * * * * *

Carol Sulcoski is a former attorney turned knitwear designer, writer, hand dyer and teacher. She is the author of several knitwear pattern books including Sock Yarn Studio and Lace Yarn Studio, coming in Spring 2015 from Lark Crafts. For more information—or to buy some of her scrumptious yarn—visit www.blackbunnyfibers.com.

 
 
 
 
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Cute Crochet World giveaway!

July 03, 2014, 09:00 am  Posted by joshglickman
 

Free book and project giveaway! To celebrate the recent release of Suzann Thompson’s new book, we are giving away three free copies of Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food & More, along with one of three delightful motifs from the book: a Martian, a vintage television, or a gingerbread couple.

With Cute Crochet World, learn to crochet more than 50 different motifs, like scrumptious cupcakes and colorful crayons. With designs that fall into 6 different categories, including seasons, home, food, and critters, Thompson’s delightful and colorful collection has something for everyone. These adorable and quirky projects are great for embellishing fashion and home accessories or making jewelry and ornaments. You can even use them to customize stationary. The perfect size for crafting on the go, Thompson’s creations are fun and simple to make, with detailed instructions and a number of photographs.

Suzann Thompson has crocheted and knitted since childhood. In junior high, she earned a fortune (of several hundred dollars) by crocheting and selling granny-square handbags. However, she later chose writing and designing over mass production. The author of Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden (both Lark), Suzann also teaches and writes about crochet, knitting, and polymer clay. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Dublin, TX. Follow her on Instagram at @cutecrochetworld.

 

ENTER TO WIN:

A copy of Cute Crochet World

&

Either a Martian, vintage television, or gingerbread couple

 

Just leave a comment from Thursday, July 3 to Friday, July 11 and 3 lucky craft winners will be chosen to win our Lark gift giveaway!

 
 
 
 
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World Wide Knit in Public Day

June 19, 2014, 14:00 pm  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

World Wide Knit in Public Day, or WWKiP Day, takes place from June 14th through June 22nd this year and knitters around the world continue to keep this 9-year-old tradition strong.

Members of the Ravelry group, “Madelinetosh Shop Stalkers,” gather to knit in downtown Portland, ME.

WWKiP is the largest knitter run event in the world and is meant to demonstrate that knitting can be a community activity. It’s an event that brings crafters together to celebrate all of the fiber arts.

Need some ideas of what to knit or crochet in public this year? Portable projects are a popular option and we have some free projects to help you celebrate.

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Wondering what to do with your single skeins of super bulky yarn? Try “Skinny Scalloped Scarf” from Crochet Love by Jenny Doh:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Need a quick on-the-go project? Check out “Sunburst Beret” from Crochet Boutique by Rachael Oglesby:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saving that hand-dyed skein of fingering weight yarn for a special project? Look no further than “Cintaya Long Cowl” from Sock Yarn Studio by Carol Sulcoski:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How are you planning to celebrate? Tell us what you knit or crochet in public in the comments and share the WWKiP Day love!

 
 
 
 
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Free projects from Stitch Along

June 05, 2014, 20:25 pm  Posted by joshglickman
 

Stitch Along by Jenny Doh is HERE! This fresh, fun foray into the world of embroidery showcases ten prominent designers, all acclaimed for their embroidery and stitching artistry. Each one shares instructions for three projects, along with ten beautiful and whimsical embroidery motifs for readers to use in their own work. The appealing themes include Kitschy Kitchen, Nautical, Camping, Robots, Sweet Hearts, and more.

The featured designers include: Carina Envoldsen-Harris (author of Stitched Blooms), Mollie Johanson (who runs the Etsy store, Wild Olive), Charlotte Lyons (Tilly Fabric Design), and more.

Jenny Doh is a crafter extraordinaire! You can find her at cresendoh.com, a widely popular online crafting community. For her leadership in publishing and the art and crafting community, Jenny was recognized by Folio as one of the magazine industry’s top 40 leaders, influencers, and innovators.

 

Check out these sample projects from the book:

Kitschy Kitchen Towel:

Start with a plain, ordinary, white kitchen towel. Then embroider a place setting motif and add a length of bright red rickrack to make it kitschy-extraordinary!

Mini Camping Pillow:This cozy pillow can serve as both tent decor and a comfy nighttime head support—a must for your next crafty camping excursion.

 
 
 
 
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This is the third and final installment of  Stitched Blooms author Carina Envoldsen-Harris’s Color Workshop. You can read the first two posts here and here.

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO projects from Stitched Blooms — the English Cottage Tablecloth or a copy of the bookSee the end of this post for details on how to enter. UPDATE: YOUR CHANCE TO WIN HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 7. SEE THE END OF THIS POST FOR MORE DETAILS! 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Mita and Stacy!

 

 

Selecting Colors for Your Projects

 

 

Choosing colors for your own projects is “easy” — you can just pick the colors you love and all is well, right?  Well, to a degree. If you love a certain combination, green and pink, for example (guilty!), by all means go for it. But I’m a big fan of trying new things in the colors you use. Pushing yourself out of that comfort zone which it is so easy to get a little stuck in.

I am always suggesting that people should try using the colors they least like a bit more. Because this will train you to make it work even if you don’t like it all that much. And I think that pushing your choices is also a great way to learn more about color and about what works for you, and why.

Purple or lilac are probably my least favorite color, but I will often try and add a bit of it when deciding on colors for a new pattern. Experience has taught me that sometimes colors I don’t like make the rest of the color scheme really ‘pop’ in ways it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t used it.

 

Selecting colors for gifts 

 When you are making a gift for someone else, getting the colors right can be a challenge. Especially if what you’re making is a surprise and you can’t ask them exactly what they like!

 

 

Maybe you’re making a skirt or a blouse for your friend but the colors she actually wears aren’t necessarily her favorite colors. For example, you would think that I wear a lot of bright colors, and I do occasionally wear a top in a bold color, but I actually mostly wear more plain dark or light colors.  So if you’re making clothing for someone, pay attention to what they actually wear or take a sneaky peek in their wardrobe (that’s mine up there) if you can.

When making a larger project for someone else, a quilt for example, getting the colors right is really important. You don’t want it to overpower a whole room. Even if you use all the colors you know your friend loves, it might not fit in the room/house. She may love bold colors — lime green, zingy orange etc — but does she actually use those colors in her home?

 

Again, I’ll use myself as an example. I use a lot of strong colors in the things I make, but the colors in our home are actually quite subdued. Our bedroom for example, has very neutral, calming colors going on there. Although I would love a quilt in my favorite colors, I think I would soon put it somewhere I didn’t have to look at it all the time. Color overload is not a good thing if you’re not into that.

So when selecting colors, think about the colors in the room where it is most likely to be used. If your friend already has an overall color scheme there, select the overall colors to go with it. But of course there’s nothing stopping you from using a cheeky pop of pink in a few places!

If you’re making a smaller thing, like a bag or maybe a piece of jewelry, it is a lot easier to make a statement with color. But again, pay attention to what someone uses/wears, not just what they like.

 

Working with colors selected by others

Since color is such a subjective thing, sometimes people will ask you to make something for them in a specific color or color combination. This can be a fun aspect of a project, but it can also be really challenging. If the chosen colors are far removed from your own taste it can be difficult to work with them, because if you usually avoid them, you may not be familiar with how to get them to play well with other colors. (That’s another reason to experiment with color in the things you make for yourself!)

Hopefully the person who has chosen the colors trusts you enough that you have some freedom to add a little bit of your own taste to the project. One way to make a color combination easier to work with is to add just a tiny amount of an accent color that you do like/love. Here’s an example:

Purple-ish colors combined with yellow is probably my least favorite combination. There is just something about this complementary pair that feels really unpleasant. I’m not sure why — I like other complementary pairs. To make it more comfortable for me to work with, I would probably add some pink or orange. Even if it’s just a little bit, either of these colors will help soften the harshness of the yellow + purple combination.

So if you can, work with the colors you have been given, but try and add some of *you* into the mix.

I hope you’ve found my Color Workshop to be fun and informative! Please do stop by my blog, Carina’s Craftblog, where you can find lovely embroidery patterns, learn about projects I’ve got in the works, and catch up on all sorts of embroidery-and craft-related things. Don’t forget that you can buy Stitched Blooms at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or wherever craft books are sold!

 

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO Stitched Blooms prizes — the English Cottage Tablecloth (46 inches [116.8 cm] square), or a copy of Stitched Blooms! Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 27. You can leave any comment you’d like, but it would be really fun to hear about any color combinations you’ve tried in your embroidery that turned out to be disastrous! Two winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, February 28. Click here for the official rules. Special note: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, but residents outside the U.S. can enter for a chance to win a copy of Stitched Blooms on Carina’s blog! Click here to go to Carina’s Craftblog

***WE’RE EXTENDING YOUR CHANCE TO WIN UNTIL THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 7! PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BY 9 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 7. TWO WINNERS WILL BE SELECTED AT RANDOM AND ANNOUNCED MONDAY, MARCH 10.***   This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Mita and Stacy! 

 

English Cottage Tablecloth, 46 inches (116.8 cm ) square

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitched Blooms Color Workshop, Part 2 + Giveaway

February 14, 2014, 19:42 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Carina Envoldsen-Harris, author of Stitched Blooms, is leading a special Color Workshop in three parts here on the Lark blog. From reviewing basic color theory to showing us how to select colors for our projects, Carina will share her expertise of all things color. You can find Carina’s first Color Workshop post here.

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO projects from Stitched Blooms — the PJ Pocket Pillow or the Every Day Carry Case! See the end of this post for details on how to enter. UPDATE: Congratulations to our two winners: Kay and Cindy! 

 

Hello and welcome to the second part of the color workshop! Today we’re looking at different color schemes that you can create from the color wheel.

 

The basic idea is that according to their relationship on the color wheel, colors impact each other. We’ll look at two of them: complementary and harmonizing. But there are several others that are included in the color section in Stitched Blooms.

Harmonizing colors are right next to each other on the color wheel — for example, red, red-violet and violet. The colors have more or less one color in common (in the example above, the common color is red). A color palette like this is tranquil.

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange. Complementary colors have nothing in common. Blue is a primary color and orange is made up of red and yellow, the two other primary colors. You could also think of these as contrasting colors, because they are exactly that — in contrast to each other. If you want your color scheme to “pop,” go for a complementary one.

Until now, we’ve focused on the (basic) colors on the color wheel, and maybe you’re wondering about where pink (personal note: I looove pink!) or pastels or darker colors fit into this.

 

 

Pastels and shades, the colors on the color wheel mixed with either white or black, can be used in exactly the same way as the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The same rules apply to the different color schemes. Pair a pale orange with a pale blue and it will have more ‘zing’ than pale orange with a pale red (a.k.a. pink).

You can, of course, combine color across the different schemes. In this last example, I have used three harmonizing greens with a pink color, so this scheme is basically a complementary pair where one of the colors is a pale version.

I call the schemes ‘rules’ but they’re more like guidelines. They are a place to start if you’re unsure how to select colors for a project. With practice, you will get more confident, and that is when it’s time to throw caution to the wind and just have fun with color!

To train your color eye, have a look around your home: Do you spot any of these schemes in things you own or in the decor? Think about the clothes you wear – do you go for quieter, harmonizing colors, or do you pick contrasting colors? An orange t-shirt with blue jeans, for example? What about the colors you choose for projects? Maybe you’re always subconsciously picking harmonious colors or…maybe not?

To see examples of Motif 99 from Stitched Blooms in different color combinations, click here. You can download this free motif from last week’s post here

Tune in next week for the third and final installment of Carina’s Color Workshop and for a chance to win more free stuff! And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win one of two projects from Stitched Blooms: the PJ Pocket Pillow or the Every Day Carry Case! Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 20. You can leave any comment you’d like, but we’d be interested in knowing what you’ve got planned for future embroidery projects! Two winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, February 21. Click here for the official rules.     This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners! 

You can see more of Carina’s totally awesome (and colorful!) motifs and projects at Carina’s Craftblog.

PJ Pocket Pillow

 

Every Day Carry Case