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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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Tis the Season coverI think many of us can agree that Christmas is like the Super Bowl for crafters—this is the pinnacle of our crafting season! Handmade gifts, ornaments, decorations, and cards, oh my!

If you love Fa la la la Felt and working with craft felt we’ve got the perfect book for you—‘Tis the Season to Be Felt-y.

This adorable sequel to Fa la la la Felt has 42 brand new felt projects so you can deck your halls with holiday joy.

 

 

Can The Sweet Treat Ornaments by Mollie Johanson be any sweeter?

 

Sweet Treats

 

The Pretty in Pink Poinsettia Wreath by Suzie Millions is a statement piece to dress any door in holiday style.

 

Pretty Pink Pointsettia Wreath

 

The Snow Bunnies Miniature Tree Skirt by Kathy Sheldon adds charm to any tiny tree.

 

Snow Bunny Tree Skirt

 

The Caroling Bird Stocking by Laura Howard hits all the high notes.

 

Caroling Bird Stocking

 

Dress up any gift card with the Holly Gift Tags & Gift Card Sleeve by Jennifer Jessee.

 

Holly Gift Tag and Card

 

This is just a small preview of all the holiday whimsy you’ll find in ‘Tis the Season to Be Felt-y. Pre-order your copy today!

 

Photos by Susan Wasinger

 
 
 
 
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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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Crafters Guide Cover (3)One of my favorite titles this season is The Crafter’s Guide to Patterns by Jessica Swift. I am a big fan of bold, colorful patterns, and this book is jam-packed with them.  Jessica’s comprehensive instructions and the beautiful photography will have you wanting to get started creating your own patterns right away.

 

The first section features information and tips on sourcing inspirations for patterns, creating mood boards, choosing colors, and developing motifs, patterns, and layouts. Section two is full of project tutorials for applying your own patterns to a variety of surfaces and objects, like tiles, gift wrap, stationary, and fabric.

 

The book also includes Jessica’s interviews with five inspiring designers. After the cold, gray winter we’ve had, I’m starving for color, and can’t wait to try my hand at some of the projects in this book.

 

Check out a few images of my favorite projects from the book below, and be sure to check out Jessica’s blog as well. In celebration of the book’s release, she’s giving away four copies! Simply leave a comment on her blog post by this Sunday, April 12th for a chance to win. You can also enter to win on Jessica’s Instagram account.

 

Packaging from CGTP

 

 

Patterned Floor CGTP

 

 

Printed Gift Wrap from CGTP

 

 

Printing on Tiles from CGTP

 

 
 
 
 
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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: 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

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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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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Lark Crafts DIY: Easter egg dying

April 02, 2015, 14:00 pm  Posted by Deborah Stack
 

Dying Easter eggs is a favorite tradition for many families, and one of my favorite techniques is one I was taught in college. My friends and I had a lot of fun experimenting in our kitchen with “tie-dyed” eggs.

 

Martha Stewart provides a great tutorial here teaching readers how to dye eggs using old silk ties. All you need to do is pick up some patterned ties (of 100% silk) from your local thrift shop, and soon enough you’ll have striped, spotted, and paisley eggs!

 

Take a look at some inspirational photos below:

 

egg1

These awesome eggs were made by the folks at Dabbled.org. Follow this link for their tutorial.

 

silk_egg2

This beautiful egg was posted on Econesting.com. Learn more here.

 

egg3

We love these gorgeous eggs dyed by Our Best Bites! Check out their tutorial here.

 

Here are the results of my silk-tie egg-dying experiment. Our eggs weren’t perfect, but we had a lot of fun making them!

 

463413_10150788488811800_1308367164_o (4)

 

 

474950_10150788488256800_1062052335_o (4)

 

 

459982_10150788491371800_1762132371_o (5)

 
 
 
 
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Get outdoors this spring with Shed Decor!

April 02, 2015, 09:49 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

coverSpring may be here technically, but the current weather in NYC definitely leaves a lot to be desired. I can’t wait until I can partake in sunny alfresco lunches, picnics in the parks and warm walks around the city.

 

In the meantime, before the nice, warm weather arrives, I’ve been perusing Shed Decor to get some ideas and plans ready for the rehabilitation of a garden shed at my dad’s house upstate. It’s in need of some serious refurbishment, and Shed Decor offers tons of ideas, tips, and inspiration for transforming any shed into a comfortable, organized space.

 

My favorite sheds profiled in the book are those that have been transformed into amazing studios and work spaces. Check out pictures of a few of them below, and order your copy of Shed Decor here.

 

Shed Decor pic 1

 

 

Shed Decor pic 2

 

 

Shed Decor Pic 3

 
 
 
 
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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: