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Enter to win a copy of Stitch Love

January 21, 2015, 10:11 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Stitch love coverStitch Love by Mollie Johanson will be released next Tuesday, January 27!  In celebration of this adorable book’s release, we will be giving one copy away to two lucky winners.

Featuring beginner-friendly embroidery patterns from a rising star in the craft community, the book showcases a variety of irresistibly cute critters—pets, farm animals, dinosaurs, even mythical favorites like Pegasus. There are 25 projects in all, from a hedgehog stroller quilt to a dachshund keyboard wrist rest, plus dozens of motifs.

To enter to win a copy of Stitch Love, leave a comment on this blog post by 9PM EST on Sunday, January 25. Winners will be selected by Monday, January 26. Click here for the official rules. Good luck!

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitch Love projects perfect for Valentine’s Day

January 07, 2015, 09:59 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Stitch love coverWe can’t wait for the upcoming release of Stitch Love by Mollie Johanson! The projects are undeniably adorable, and with Mollie’s clear step-by-step instructions, plus the comprehensive sewing and embroidery basics sections, they’re easy to make, too. To make crafting the projects even easier, a PDF of the templates at full-size will be available for download on the Lark Crafts website.

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it, and any of the cute projects in Stitch Love would make a great gift for a valentine. Who wouldn’t melt at the sight of the Frozen Yeti Ice Pack or the cuddly Gleeful Guinea Pig Plush? You could also embroider one of the many adorable motifs onto a simple plush heart or the pocket of a cozy sweater (the holiday mouse motif with angel wings and a heart would be perfect!).

 

Keep checking the Lark website for more on Mollie Johanson and Stitch Love, plus a giveaway or two in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out Mollie’s website: wildolive.blogspot.com and pre-order your copy of Stitch Love today.

 

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We are so excited for January and the release of Mollie Johanson’s Stitch Love, which features beginner-friendly projects for making your own irresistibly cute critters!

 

As an extra bonus to the adorable projects featured in Stitch Love, the book also includes over 100 fantastic embroidery motifs. Some are part of specific projects in the book, as in the case of the rooster and footprint motifs on the Doodle Doo Apron (see image below), but you can also add them to your own projects as well.

 

Stitch Love_Doodle Doo Apron

 

The book includes easy-to-follow instructions for using a variety of embroidery stitches, and the motifs are organized by theme—from dinos and woodland critters to fantasy creatures like a unicorn and bigfoot and an assortment of animals from the Arctic and Outback. The motifs which author Mollie Johanson has included in Stitch Love are too cute to resist. You’ll want to stitch them on absolutely everything!

 

Check out a few images of the stitched motifs included in Stitch Love, below, and pre-order your copy today.

 

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A Playful Hoodies Halloween at Lark Crafts!

October 31, 2014, 20:17 pm  Posted by Deborah Stack
 

A raccoon, a rabbit, a fox, a wizard, and a gnome walk into a publishing company.

This might sound like the beginning of a joke, but to the staff at Lark Crafts, it serves as an accurate description of our front lobby this Halloween! Weeks of planning and crafting have lead to our group bringing one of our favorite books—Playful Hoodies—off of the page and into the real world, and we are so excited to show off our hard work.

 

Group hi res

 

Not only are playful hoodies adorable, they are quick and easy to make. Josh, our wizard (and a member of our marketing/publicity team), had never sewn a stitch before beginning his hoodie! He was able to whip his costume together in just a few days.

 

For the seasoned veterans among us, like John (the fox) and Connie (the raccoon) one evening was all that it took to pull together an adorable costume. My simple rabbit came together in less than an hour. All of us agree that the most time-consuming part of our projects was waiting for our materials to arrive in the mail!

 

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Playful Hoodies (and Sewn Together, an upcoming Lark title featuring our raccoon hoodie) have both proven to be fantastic resources for new crafters and veterans alike, for adults and children, and feature projects that can be pulled together in a weekend.

 

We would love to see your playful hoodies! Whether you craft a costume for a child, a friend, or for the whole family, make sure to share your photos on the Lark Crafts Facebook page!

 
 
 
 
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Spring Preview Saturday: Designer Crochet

October 25, 2014, 14:00 pm  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

The key to building a hand crocheted wardrobe is lots of planning and I’m here to give you as much advance notice as possible so you can clear your queue, wind your yarn, and prepare for some fantastic new patterns coming your way this spring! I’m delighted to announce Designer Crochet: 32 Patterns to Elevate Your Style (April 2015) by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby with gorgeous photography by Jason Mullett-Bowlsby. This dynamic duo is the pair behind Shibaguyz Designz.

 

Whether you’re a size XS or a 5X, these patterns are made for you. Crochet fans can expect an array of stunning designs from an elegant knee length duster to a curve hugging off-the-shoulder dress to a floor sweeping lace skirt. Wardrobe essential pieces like a basic open front cardigan and pullover to matching winter accessory trios make this the perfect single book to build your hand stitched closet from scratch.

 

Every pattern is chock full of notes and schematics to ensure a proper and flattering fit for sizes XS through 5X and the book includes detailed step-by-step photos to teach you important skills like how to set in a sleeve or sew in a zipper.

 

Marvel at some of our favorite designs below and be sure to pre-order your copy today!

Cloaked Hoodie

 

 

Drape Front Cardigan

 

 

Hooded Wrap Vest

 

 

Maxi Skirt

 

 

Off the Shoulder Dress

 
 
 
 
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Crochet Boutique HatsWhen speaking about my books—Crochet Boutique and Crochet Boutique: Hats – I often get asked about the process behind designing a pattern. My answer changes from time to time, but the truth is that it’s never always the same.

Sometimes it starts with a lush new yarn purchased on impulse, sometimes there’s an idea born from a new stitch or technique recently learned, or sometimes it’s just a hole in my wardrobe that I’m yearning to fill with something handmade.

Other times I just start stitching and see where it takes me. However, I hope this will provide a bit of insight for those wishing to begin the design process on their own.

 

LEARN THE LANGUAGE

If you’re going to write a pattern for others then you will also need to know how to read a pattern. If you’re only writing for yourself then your own shorthand or crochet lingo will be just fine. I often write the first draft in my own “language” and then translate it into common crochet terminology. If you intend for others to use your patterns then you should become familiar with common crochet terms, abbreviations, and techniques. When working from patterns, begin to pay attention to the typical layout and format of the patterns.

 

MAKE A SKETCH

It often seems I get ideas at the most inopportune moments – during rush hour traffic, or when brushing my teeth while I’m already 10 minutes late to work. However, when a really great idea strikes I try to take the time and make a quick doodle so I can come back to it later. It could be later that day or five years from then. Sketching your designs can also help you figure out the mechanics and technical details of how your pattern needs to work. There have been plenty of times in the design process where I’ve had to stop the frustrating circle of frogging and restitching and just draw on paper how I want the piece to work. Most of the time it helps!

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT MATERIALS

Think about the type of material that will work best for your project. Sometimes it helps to think in terms of fabric shopping. You wouldn’t choose a delicate lightweight fabric for an upholstery project, nor would you choose a heavy jacquard if you were creating a loose and flowing sundress. Your yarn and hook choice can follow the same line of thought. Want something thick and sturdy? Choose a chunky or super bulky yarn and go down a size or two from the recommended hook. You can also experiment here. An extra large hook and a fine yarn can be the perfect combination to give you a beautiful open lace by using even the most basic stitches. When you think of yarn weight, content, texture, and color combined with all of the hook options available, the possibilities seem endless.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF GAUGE

I admit it. When I first started writing patterns I was a “no gauge” offender. Since most of my patterns were written for my own use in those early days, thinking about gauge wasn’t at the top of my list. I was pretty familiar with my tension and the projects I made repeatedly never seemed to vary too much in that regard. However, we all stitch a little differently, and that’s why gauge is important to include when writing patterns intended for others. Though this may vary by the type of project, most measure gauge by creating a 4-inch square. Once you have your square, you can then measure the number of stitches and rows required to meet the desired gauge.

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PUT IT ALL ON PAPER

Once you get started, don’t forget to write down every little detail along the way. Think you’ll remember how many chains you worked in that fourth round once you’ve finished? You may, but if it turns out you don’t then it can be a nuisance to count back and figure it out. Though it’s hard to resist the urge to keep working till the end once you find your groove, it’s best to go ahead and write down each step as you go. Made a mistake and had to frog a few rows to make a change? Don’t forget to note what you did and any improvements. This can get tedious, especially when working on something more intricate, but good detailed notes are what make a pattern.

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TEST, TEST, AND TEST AGAIN

You’ve written your pattern and you love the finished project. Great! Now make it again. Take notes, correct a few typos, make a few tweaks here and there to make it even better. Now make it again. And again. You get the idea. The more you make your design and read over your pattern the better it will be. Once you’ve been over it plenty of times, give it to a crafty friend and see how their project turns out. Ask them for suggestions or to let you know if any step was unclear along the way. Don’t be scared of  critique – it’s the only way to improve! There are also some wonderful groups online on sites such as Ravelry who will test out your patterns for you and offer suggestions for improvement.

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Happy stitching and designing!

–from Rachael Oglesby

 

 
 
 
 
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One + OneAre you headed to Rhinebeck, NY for the annual New York Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend? Our friends at Fabulous Yarn in Tivoli, NY will be having a pre-Sheep and Wool party this Saturday, October 18th from 10am to 2pm. The festivities will include a trunk show with finished garments from Iris Schreier’s latest book, One + One: Wraps, Cowls, and Capelets.

Iris will be at the store signing books. Yarn for project kits from the book will be offered at a discount during the event, both in person and online . There will even be goodie bags for first 50 attendees!

Visit Fabulous Yarn at 60 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583 or call (866) 514-1127 for more information. And be sure to RSVP on Facebook if you’re planning to attend. See you there!

 
 
 
 
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Playful Hoodies – Pumpkin Basket giveaway!

October 14, 2014, 15:03 pm  Posted by joshglickman
 

Playful HoodiesDays are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler, and October is upon us. In other words: it’s time to start planning for Halloween.

 

With trick-or-treating less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about costumes, especially if you intend to make your own. But how are you going to convince your children that a homemade costume is better than a store-bought one? Well have no fear, because Mary Rasch is here to help.

 

In her new book Playful Hoodies, Mary takes ordinary hooded sweatshirts and transforms them into a variety of incredible costume options. With 25 projects ranging from animals to fairy tale characters, including an owl, a fox, a knight, and Little Red Riding Hood, children won’t be the only ones choosing a playful hoody as this year’s Halloween costume. Best of all, these costume hoodies are comfortable and warm, ridding children of the need for a coat while trick-or-treating.

 

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To help you with your Halloween planning, we’re offering a FREE copy of Playful Hoodies as well as a pumpkin basket filled with all the necessary materials to create your own pumpkin hoody.

 

Just leave a comment on this blog post by 9 pm EST on Sunday, October 19. The winner will be selected by Monday, October 20. Click here for the official rules. Happy Halloween!

 

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Felt-o-ween Giveaway: Punkin’ Treat Pouch

October 10, 2014, 15:21 pm  Posted by joshglickman
 

9781454708513_ccvr c#E21EC9 (3)Celebrate the spookiest day of the year by having some crafty fun with our new book, Felt-o-ween!

 

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. 

 

To help get you ready for Halloween, we’re giving away TWO special Felt-o-ween prize packs with a copy of the book, as well as materials to make your very own “Punkin’ Treat Pouch.”

 

Just leave a comment on this blog post by 9 pm EST on Wednesday, October 15. Winners will be selected by Thursday, October 16. Click here for the official rules.

 

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Dress up this Halloween with Playful Hoodies!

October 09, 2014, 17:45 pm  Posted by Deborah Stack
 

Playful HoodiesAs my morning commute becomes colder each day, I find that the comfort of a well-loved sweatshirt can transform a miserable morning into a tolerable one. Although I don’t have many hoodies in my closet, the few that I do own are well-worn and ragged, featuring college names and vacation destinations from years ago.

My love of cuddly outerwear isn’t new—my parents fondly reminisce about my early childhood, when a full-length, rabbit-eared, cotton-tailed onesie was my outfit of choice, regardless of the weather. For almost a year, even on hot summer days, I insisted on pulling up my bunny-eared hood and waddling around in fluffy-tailed fleece.

When Playful Hoodies was released, I couldn’t help but think back on all of the hoodies which have provided warmth and comfort over the years. In fact, our entire craft team was enamored by the adorable hoodies throughout this book! Somehow, we all found our spirit animals or alter-egos had made their way onto the book’s pages.

As we crowded around, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the incredible projects before us, an inspired proposal was made. Brita, a fellow Assistant Editor, let us know that she had already purchased the supplies to make a project out of the book for Halloween. The entire Lark Crafts team instantly and unanimously decided to adopt Brita’s inspired idea, each choosing a hoodie project to craft for Halloween!

Gnome

Brita had first pick, and decided to be a gnome. Even before we had made the final decision to take on hoodie projects as a team, Brita’s beard fur was in the mail!

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John chose to be a fox, while Connie chose a raccoon hoodie (her project is featured in another Lark title, Sewn Together, but it is designed by the same author, Mary Rasch).

Raccoon

Josh, our friend in the publicity department, decided to join us as a wizard. And I, of course, will be a white rabbit—an homage to the oft-worn footie pajamas of my youth.

wizard

We will make sure to post updates of our progress as we craft our celebratory hoodies. Our sweatshirts just arrived in the mail, and the fun is about to begin!

rabbit

 

Be sure to order your copy of Playful Hoodies today and join in on the fun!