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Throwback Thursday: Artful Halloween

September 04, 2014, 10:00 am  Posted by joshglickman
 

Artful HalloweenFriends, Halloween is right around the corner!  Interested in some spooky – but stylish – Halloween projects this year? Then be sure to grab Artful Halloween to get ready for October 31st with 31 beautiful costume, pumpkin, and home-decorating ideas!

 

Give your house a spooky, sophisticated look with projects like black lace votives, a “blood-splattered” paper bouquet, monster cupcake toppers, glow-in-the-dark treat buckets, illustrated pumpkins and black doily spider webs.  Also included are guidelines for tools, materials, and techniques to get you started.

 

Author Susan Wasinger designs houses, products, books, and magazines.  She is the author of several books, including The Feisty Stitcher and Artful Christmas, which comes out in September!

 

You can get ready for the holiday season by ordering your copy of Artful Halloween here.

 

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ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF ARTFUL HALLOWEEN

Just leave a comment on this blog post by 9 pm EST on Wednesday, September 10th. Winners will be selected by Thursday, September 11th. Click here for the official rules. Show us your #TBT love, and we’ll return the favor!

 
 
 
 
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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!

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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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Fall Preview Friday: Felt-O-Ween

July 11, 2014, 13:54 pm  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

Welcome to Fall Preview Friday! Each Friday this summer, our Lark editors will be sharing previews of our upcoming titles for Fall 2014. Check back each week to get the latest scoop on what’s coming soon with these sneak peeks from Lark Crafts.

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Is Halloween one of your favorite holidays of the year? Are you looking for easy-to-make costume ideas? Does your home need a little splash of spooky to celebrate the holiday? Look no further than Felt-O-Ween: 40 Scary-Cute Projects to Celebrate Halloween by Kathy Sheldon and Amanda Carestio, the team behind the bestseller, Fa la la la Felt.

Coming this fall, Felt-O-Ween will be your guide to a fabulous and felt-o-licious Halloween. Newcomers to felt can start with the basics, understand the types of felt and how to work with it, and practice techniques for hand stitching. More experienced crafters can jump right into the projects. All the supplies you need are available at any local craft store, which makes every project in this book accessible, easy, and fun.

 

The Creepy Crawly Wreath is the perfect décor to greet trick-or-treaters at your door. Fall foliage has never looked so scary-cute with this yarn-wrapped wreath:

 

With these sweet Pumpkin’ Treat Pouches you’ll be every trick-or-treaters favorite house this Halloween. It’s the perfect size for a small bite-size candy bar or even a small healthy treat:

 

 

Monster Hands make the perfect quick costume for kids and adults alike and are sure to scare up candy at every door in your neighborhood. Wrist straps can be altered for a custom fit to accommodate any size:

 

Felt-O-Ween will add a dash of crafty ingenuity to your Halloween this year. Pre-order your copy today!

(Post written by Lark Editor, Connie Santisteban.)

 
 
 
 
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Etsy Favorites: Passion for Peppermint

December 28, 2013, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

This time of the year I get struck by a nearly uncontrollable craving. As the shelves of the grocery store fill with the enticement of seasonal treats, I focus my attention on seeking out my personal holiday favorite: peppermint. I think this desire was instilled at an early age with that miracle known as peppermint ice cream, a frozen miracle of flavor, spotted with little peppermint candy bits. I looked forward to its arrival every year. Now as an adult my culinary tastes have expanded and my sweet tooth has been (somewhat) tamed, but the annual love for that cooling peppermint remains. With that urge in mind I set my eyes to Etsy to seek out some items that would bring lip-smacking, smile-inducing peppermint pleasure to the rest of these chilly winter months. What I found only fuels my need to stock up. Full credits and shop links below!

TOP LEFT: Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies by Butter Blossoms
TOP RIGHT: Peppermint Hot Chocolate by Carriage Door
MIDDLE LEFT: Holiday Red and White French Macarons by The Splendid Sweet Shoppe
MIDDLE RIGHT: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Blondies by Bake It Happen
BOTTOM LEFT: White Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallows by Epic Edibles
BOTTOM RIGHT: Peppermint Bark by Mother Fudger
 
 
 
 
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Simple Cider: A Low-Tech Approach

December 26, 2013, 10:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

 

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Lately, I have been experimenting with making hard cider. I’m really low-tech when it comes to this sort of thing. I make mead too, but I can’t be bothered with all that racking and bottling and stuff. So, I make an herbal tea, mix it 50/50 with honey, add some yeast and yeast energizer, throw an airlock on the bottle, and forget aboudit. When it’s time to drink the mead (3-6 months later), I just pour from the same bottle, which I store indefinitely with the airlock on it. I have the same approach to cider. The simplest way I know to make homemade hard cider is as follows:

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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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Folks Go Nuts for Candied Nuts FREE RECIPE

December 10, 2013, 11:57 am  Posted by Lark
 

I don’t know about you, but every Christmas I’m confronted with the dilemma of what to give to people I don’t know terribly well. You know the category: extended family, business acquaintances, neighbors. I care about them and want to give them something nice and heartfelt—but what? Solution: homemade sweets!

Luckily, I work at Lark and didn’t have to go far to find a recipe. Poring through Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat, my mouth watering at every page, I came across a recipe for Sour Cream Candied Nuts. This old-fashioned recipe makes nuts enrobed in a thick, sugary coating and infused with alluring spiciness. Mm, what a crunchy, crusty treat! Make some up, wrap them in pretty packaging, embellish with ribbon, and presto! a gift from the heart.

SOUR CREAM CANDIED NUTS (makes about 2 cups)

You’ll need

  • 2/3 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups of roasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans
  • Baking sheet, parchment paper, wooden spoon, candy thermometer, food-safe gloves

 

To prepare

  • Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine the sugar, salt and sour cream in a 2-quart saucepan and stir occasionally over medium heat until the mixture reaches 240 degrees.
  • Remove from heat. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and nuts to the syrup and stir vigorously until the syrup becomes dry and matted, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Pour the coated nuts onto the parchment paper, put on your gloves, and immediately separate the nuts. Let cool, then store in an airtight container. So easy, so fast, so tasty!

 

You can change up the spices and find oodles of other recipes online for candied nuts, including the variations here, here and here.

Directions for use

  • Grasp a few nuts between the thumb and index.
  • Bend the elbow and raise the hand to the face.
  • Open the mouth and pop in the nuts. Chew, savor, repeat. Yum!

 

Besides being snack-worthy all by themselves, you can also toss them on salads (a mixture of baby arugula, shredded manchego and candied pecans is oh-so-delicious); garnish ice cream, brownies and other baked goods, or bake them right in (sinful!); or put them in cereal to start the day off right (!).

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Free Embroidered Holiday Card Project

December 05, 2013, 07:55 am  Posted by Lark
 

The holiday season is now in full swing; there are gifts to be made and greeting cards to be sent. In this world of mass-produced and yes, electronic holiday cards, wouldn’t it be nice to slow down and create a card for those you care for? If a picture says a 1000 words, then a handmade card says ten times that. While making a beautiful, heartfelt card is a labor of love, it doesn’t have to be all that laborious.

Geninne Zlatkis, author of Making an Impression, shows you how to create a stamped, tranquil town under a night sky full of embroidered stars—she even supplies you with a template. The beauty of this card is that once you create the stamp of the town, (made with simple, straight lines), then you can easily stamp up multiples for your family and friends. The limitless options of embroidery floss available—including metallic and glow-in-the-dark fibers—makes it easy to personalize each card. You’ll find the instructions here.

 
 
 
 
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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.