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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

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Christmas Cat Toy Project

December 15, 2015, 14:48 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

tis the season to be feltycat1
We’re deep into holiday crafting season, and while we make ornaments, garlands, and other whimsical gifts for friends and family, let’s not forget about our furry friends as well!

I was inspired by Kathy Sheldon’s ‘Tis the Season to be Felt-y and decided to convert one of the projects into a cute toy for my cat.

Please note that the author hasn’t endorsed the use of her projects in this way, and that the nature of felt makes these toys less sturdy than manufactured cat toys. Please supervise your cat while she’s playing with her handcrafted toy! Additionally, when you’re choosing a project to convert, avoid projects that require glue or beads/buttons. You don’t want your cat to end up eating anything that could be potentially harmful.

On to the project!

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The gnome from the stocking project was too cute to pass up even though it involved more pieces to sew than other options in the book. Here are some things to keep in mind when converting a regular felted toy into a cat toy:

1. Double up on your thread to add extra strength to your stitches

2. Keep your stitches close together to help prevent teeth and claws from snagging on them.

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3. Add an extra layer of felt behind the outer layer to help keep the top layer sturdy.

4. Don’t forget to buy catnip for the filling! I alternated layers of catnip with layers of fiber fill, but you can also make a separate pouch of catnip to insert into the body of the toy before sewing it up.

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Pause for a “cat scan.” She has to be sure you’re putting in enough catnip!

 

 

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5. Again, due to the nature of felt, this is not a project that’s meant to last forever. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure she’s not shredding through it too quickly!

6. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Whether for cats or kids, everyone loves a bit of whimsy with a handmade toy. Imperfect stitches just adds a flair of individuality!

 
 
 
 
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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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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.

 

Guinea Pig Plush_small

 

 

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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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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!

fox

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!

 

 
 
 
 
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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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A Holiday Etsy Wish List for My Dog, Part 2

December 20, 2013, 13:46 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Certified Coziness Expert

The other day I shared a post on behalf of my sweet little dog, who has been working on her own Christmas wish list all year long. Her first post focused on gorgeous dog portraits made by Etsy artists, and this second post shines a light on the warm, cozy, and fashion-forward items she loves on Etsy. As an expert in coziness (see photo), she’s a good curator for this kind of thing.

These projects!! Don’t you just love that heart sweater? Have you ever seen a bow tie look so dapper? And, c’mon, I think we all can agree that a cozy fleece-lined snuggle sack bed is basically what every single one of us needs in the new year.

Thanks to these talented artists for creating such awesome stuff for our dear little pups!

Happy Pawlidays, everyone.

[Pictured from left to right]

Burrow Dog Bed :: BBeds

Dog Bow Tie :: charliebegood

Pet ID Tag :: CaliforniaMutts

Chevron Dog Bed Cover :: thefoggydog

Knit Heart Sweater :: Willieratbag and MrSoftTop

Cozy Scandinavian Dog Sweater :: BobbieGlue

Snowflake Dog Sweater :: Charliecloset

Chihuahua Pillow :: YveborgDesign

What Does the Fox Say Dog Collar :: StinkyandSweetPea

Aluminum Pet ID Tag :: woowooworkshop

Red Rhinestone Flower Dog Collar :: PawshAccessories

Minky Snuggle Sack Bed :: rendachs

Wine Barrel Dog Bed :: RockCreekFurnitureCo

 
 
 
 
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A Holiday Wish List for My Dog

December 04, 2013, 10:16 am  Posted by Lark
 

See? My dog loves Etsy.

Boy, do I love Etsy: that mecca of handmade, creative, inspiring wonderfulness. The walls in my home are adorned with prints from Etsy sellers, I sport jewelry made by incredible Etsy artists, my friends have received gifts I’ve purchased on Etsy, and there’s even an Etsy-sourced jar of hand balm and lip gloss rolling around in my purse.

But I’m not alone in that love, and I’m guessing you aren’t, either: my dog loves Etsy. (She does. She told me. Stop rolling your eyes.)  She especially loves Etsy during the holidays.

Seriously, my own holiday wish list pales in comparison to the gifts my dog has starred from these amazing designers, so I’m giving the floor to my Little Gal, who has made TWO wish lists on Etsy. Here’s the first of her holiday finds: a collection of dog-loving portraits.

Thanks to the amazing artists featured here for creating such awesome work! Individual photos and links listed below.

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A Crochet GIVEAWAY!

November 26, 2013, 05:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

 

 

Enter for a chance to win all four copies of the fabulous crochet books shown above! 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our randomly selected winner, A.H.K.!

Last year, I made a mid-year’s resolution to learn to crochet. This year, I kept it. Crocheting is so much fun, and I’ve already made the Skinny Scalloped Scarf from Crochet Love and the Chunky Ribbed Scarf from Crochet Boutique.

Because it’s the holidays, and because Lark loves you, and to celebrate the one resolution I’ve followed through with in the last 20 years, we’re giving away a sweet little bundle of four Lark crochet books to one lucky winner! Simply enter a comment below, and you could win a copy of Crochet Love, Crochet Boutique, AmiguruME, and Crochet Garden.

Whether you’re a newbie crocheter like me or are already accomplished with the hook, you’ll find a wide range of projects in these books: fresh, modern wearables and accessories; sweet, zakka-inspired, simple-to-stitch projects; amigurume people you can create in any shape or size; and lovely, floral-inspired motifs for any season. 

How can you enter for a chance to win this essential collection of crochet books? Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 5. Any comment will do, but why don’t you tell us about any holiday crochet projects you have in the works? One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, December 6. Click here for the official rules.