Clara Parkes is knitting her way to a city a near you on the Knitlandia tour!

Beloved knitter and author Clara Parkes has been charming readers across the globe with her heartwarming, hilarious, and humble tales of a life in knitting. In her latest memoir, Knitlandia: A Knitter See the World, Parkes weaves her personal blend of wisdom and humor into this eloquently down-to-earth guide that is part personal travel narrative and part cultural history, touching the heart of what it means to live creatively.

Building on the success of The Yarn Whisperer, Parkes’s rich personal essays invite readers and devoted crafters on excursions to be savored, from a guide who quickly comes to feel like a trusted confidante. Join Clara as she takes you along on 17 of her most memorable journeys across the globe over the last 15 years, with stories spanning from the fjords of Iceland to a cozy yarn shop in Paris’s 13th arrondissement.

...And now you can join her in real time as she celebrates the release of Knitlandia on 2/16—coming to a city near you starting next week!

As an added bonus, if you purchase a book at any of the tour stops, you'll get a free (and very cute, in our humble opinion) gift with purchase! Plus, you'll be supporting local indie booksellers—a win for everyone!

Can't make it to the tour? You can still follow along online with Clara's blog tour! We'll post an updated tour schedule later this month, with "tour stops" beginning 2/22. Check back for more info!

 

Spring is Here Over at Abrams!

Well... not quite, but even with some snow in the forecast, we're looking forward to sharing our exciting list of spring books with you!

We've been working hard to bring you a fresh crop of the beautiful and inspiring books that have long been a part of our fiber as an imprint of Abrams.

Below is a sneak peak of the books debuting in the coming season. Click through each cover to read more on our website, and stay tuned for exciting updates here— catch our authors as they visit a city near you, follow along on blog tours, and stay tuned for sneak peeks, contests, giveaways, guest posts, and more!

Wishing you a happy and productive season.

—your friends at STC Craft / Abrams

Entertain from your bookshelf with these simple, elegant projects

If you're like us, you're in the midst of hosting --or frantically preparing to host-- friends and family this time of year. If you're also like us, you can't help but add a few little flourishes along the way. Here are some quick and simple projects from our bookshelf to help you add a little something extra to your home or holiday table. These also double as great host gifts!

Wrapping paper placemats from p. 77 of Victoria Hudgins's Materially Crafted

Wrapping paper placemats from p. 77 of Victoria Hudgins's Materially Crafted

Garden to Table Place Settings from p. 138 of Jacinda Boneau and Jaime Morrison Curtis's Pretty Prudent Home

Garden to Table Place Settings from p. 138 of Jacinda Boneau and Jaime Morrison Curtis's Pretty Prudent Home

Winter Garland from p. 155 of Livia Cetti's The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers

Winter Garland from p. 155 of Livia Cetti's The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers

Vintage Ribbon Coasters from p. 62 of Rebecca Ringquist's Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

Vintage Ribbon Coasters from p. 62 of Rebecca Ringquist's Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt from p. 214 of Boneau & Curtis's Pretty Prudent Home

No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt from p. 214 of Boneau & Curtis's Pretty Prudent Home

From our bookshelf:

Are you planning to add a little handcrafted flair to your holiday table? Show off your work online and tag @stc_craft on twitter and instagram.

 

 

Stuck on your holiday list? Give the gift of craft!

With time running down, there's still a chance to get some of our faves from this year for the folks on your list (or maybe just to treat yourself—who's looking!?) Check our list below for a little something for every kind of maker.

For the One Always Looking to Try Something New

For the One Who Needs to Relax (and Doodle)

For the Fabric Store Junkie

For The One Who Always Seems to Set Her Own Trends (and looks fabulous doing it!)

For the Novice Crafter, Nester, or General DIY Enthusiast

We hope some of these lovely books find their way to your bookshelf, or to a craft table of someone you love, sometime soon! You can find more of our books online here.

4 fabulous gift ideas straight from our bookshelf!

With the holiday season kicking into high gear, we're looking for inspiration for everyone on our list this year. 

These sweet and simple gifts (and the books they came from!) are some of our favorite picks for simple handmade gifts for everyone from your neighbor to your work wife.

  • Dressing up your dishware has never been so easy. Try adding this personalized touch as a host gift at a holiday or dinner party—and top it with home-baked cookies!
Playful Ceramic Platters from p. 86 of Anna Joyce's Stamp Stencil Paint

Playful Ceramic Platters from p. 86 of Anna Joyce's Stamp Stencil Paint

  • For the crafter who you can barely keep up with (also adaptable for other handmade projects: try a smaller version for knit sweaters, pouches, and other sewing projects!)
Hand-Drawn Quilt Labels from p. 128 of The Spoonflower Handbook

Hand-Drawn Quilt Labels from p. 128 of The Spoonflower Handbook

  • A cute and simple way to make something special for someone special.
Traced Wildflower Hankie from p. 68 of Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

Traced Wildflower Hankie from p. 68 of Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

  • We love this simple yoga (-or- ukulele -or- farmers market) bag—easy to customize for friends who are always on the go!    Cecilia Yoga Bag from p. 58 of Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

Straight from our 2015 shelves:

Have you made anything inspired by STC Craft on your bookshelf this year? We want to see it! Show it off online and tag @stc_craft on twitter or instagram. 

Kick off NaNoJouMo with Dawn Sokol's Year of the Doodle

The fall is a time for reflection for many as we start to feel the effects of the changing seasons—moving clocks back, taking sweaters out of storage—and we begin to look forward to the holiday season and a new year. This November, we're giving ourselves a chance to sit back and take the time to explore those changes more mindfully through the process of art journaling. Available this week, Dawn "Doodle Queen" Sokol's latest book, The Year of the Doodle: 365 Drawing, Collaging, and Mark-Making Adventures, is the perfect way to get started.  

 

On the first of the month, Dawn kicked off her annual National November Journaling Month (or "NaNoJouMo") with daily prompts on her blog. We wanted to try our hand at art journaling as well, so we spent this past week trying out a few prompts from the book. Check out the results of our early November doodles from inside the Abrams office below. 

Feeling inspired? Head over to Dawn's blog where she's giving away a few copies of her book. Join us and start a daily journal challenge of your own!

The Modern Natural Dyer hits stores this week, plus a blog tour and chance to win!

When we look through the pages of Kristine Vejar's debut book, The Modern Natural Dyer, we're met with a sense of wonder about the origins of the natural hues that color our world. Officially on sale this week, Vejar demystifies that process, sharing user-friendly techniques for dyeing yarn, fabric, and finished goods at home with foraged and garden-raised dyestuffs and natural dye extracts.

In explicit, easy-to-follow detail, Vejar explains how to produce consistent, long-lasting color. With stunning photography of the dyes themselves, the dyeing process, and 20 projects for home and wardrobe (some to knit, some to sew, and some just a matter of submerging a finished piece in a prepared bath), The Modern Natural Dyer is a complete resource for aspiring and experienced dye artisans.

We were lucky enough to have the chance to learn about natural dyes and processes straight from Kristine as she kicked off her book release tour on the east coast this past week.

Kristine Vejar signing copies of her book, The Modern Natural Dyer, for fans at The NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/17/15. Photo credit: Mamie VanLangen

Kristine Vejar signing copies of her book, The Modern Natural Dyer, for fans at The NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/17/15. Photo credit: Mamie VanLangen

Kristine Vejar speaking about natural dyeing techniques in her new book, The Modern Natural Dyer, at the Tales of Yarn demo area at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/18/15. Photo credit: Melissa Esner

Kristine Vejar speaking about natural dyeing techniques in her new book, The Modern Natural Dyer, at the Tales of Yarn demo area at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/18/15. Photo credit: Melissa Esner

We were also thrilled to welcome Kristine into our office to show us a thing or two about natural dyeing techniques this week!  Click through the gallery below to see images from our demo session.

If you're looking to learn some techniques of your own, you can follow along on Kristine's upcoming blog tour, with each stop offering a chance to win a copy of the book and one of the 4 dye kits pictured below!

Oct 23 DIY Network
Oct 26 Mason Dixon Knitting
Oct 28 Leethal
Oct 30 Mary Jane Mucklestone
Nov 2 Very Shannon
Nov 4 Make Something Blog
Nov 6 Our Daily Craft/Sarah White
Nov 9 Heather Ross
Nov 11 Tolt Yarn and Wool
Nov 16 Made by Katrina
Nov 18 Ysolda Teague
Nov 20 Jen Hewitt



We're Headed to the NY State Sheep & Wool Fest This Weekend!

If there's one thing that says "fall" around here, it's packing our books and heading up to Rhinebeck for the annual New York State Sheep & Wool Festival!

http://sheepandwool.com/

Please join us this weekend as we showcase some of our brand new needlearts books for the fall, bring back some STC Craft classics, and throw in a few goodies and giveaways. Stop by and meet celebrated knitting guru Clara Parkes on Saturday, 10/17, as she signs advance galleys of her newest travel memoir, Knitlandia, in advance of its spring 2016 publication. And stop by Saturday or Sunday (or both!) to meet and chat with dyeing expert and owner of STC Craft favorite A Verb for Keeping Warm Kristine Vejar, as she sells and signs copies of her first book, The Modern Natural Dyer, before it goes on sale next week!

Stop by and say hello in Building B, check out our books and sample projects, and sign up for the STC Craft newsletter for a chance to win a prize pack!

image credit www.omgheart.com


GUEST POST: Gretchen Hirsch on her inspiration for 'Gertie's New Fashion Sketchbook'

I’m so excited about the release of my new book, Gertie’s New Fashion Sketchbook! Over the past several years, I’ve been busy writing sewing technique books with an emphasis on retro design (see Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing and Gertie Sews Vintage Casual), so this is a bit of a departure for me. Today I’m going to share the inspiration for the sketchbook and why it was such an important project for me. 

Sewists often think of sketching as something that “real” designers do. But everyone who sews is a designer! The simple act of matching a fabric to a pattern is designing. Even picking out a zipper is a design choice. Every choice you make on a project is part of its design. With so many little decisions to make, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why sketching is such a helpful tool: you can map out your ideas visually, easily changing them if necessary. 

A wonderful tool for sketching fashion ideas is the croquis, a body figure template. That way you don’t have to be able to sketch a realistic figure from scratch! And nowadays it’s easy to go to a bookstore and buy a fashion sketchbook filled with croquis, ready to go. However, the problem with the available fashion sketchbooks is that the figures can look a little bizarre: they’re strangely elongated and spindly, and twisted into strange poses that I like to call the "broken doll" or the "sad alien." That's because fashion people work with a concept called "nine heads," where the figure is nine head-lengths tall. To put this in perspective, actual people are only seven to eight heads tall. Here's an interesting image that breaks it down:

One of my missions over the years has been to write about sewing and fashion in a body-positive, feminist way. So these nine-head ladies were bringing me down. And so the idea for this sketchbook was born and brilliant illustrator Sun Young Park brought it to life. Here's how it works:

The figures are presented in a "nested" configuration (almost like a sewing pattern!), so that you can follow the lines (bigger or smaller) to represent different figures. You can make the figures smaller on top or bottom to replicate a woman's actual curves and proportions. I tested the whole thing out with some wonderful sewing friends, and it really works! But my favorite thing about it is that the height of the figures is actually realistic. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Do you enjoy sketching ideas for your sewing projects? If so, I hope you love this new sketchbook! 


Stamp, Stencil, Paint Your Way to a Colorful Life!

Textile artist Anna Joyce believes that we should all live with color and pattern every day. Now, with the release of Stamp, Stencil, Paint, so can you!

In this beautiful and approachable new book, Anna Joyce shares her signature hand-printing techniques for adding color and pattern to ready-made surfaces like fabric, ceramics, paper, leather, furniture, walls, and more. Inspired by vintage fabric, folk art, shapes in nature, and exciting new color combinations, Anna’s distinctive projects showcase the beauty of the unexpected and the mark of the artist’s hand. Following beautiful step-by-step photography, you'll learn new, easy skills to stamp, stencil, and hand-paint wonderful projects for your homes, wardrobes, families, and friends.

Anna's joy for making things by hand is truly infectious, and if you're in Portland this weekend or New York the week after, you can see for yourself at one of her exciting tour stops:

Portland, Oregon Events


New York City Book Tour

Can't make it to one of the events above (or can't get enough of Anna)? You can still get involved and learn from her with this fabulous giveaway from our friends over at Creativebug, going on now! .

The perfect book to get you in the Mood for sewing

“Designers, we’re going to Mood!”

Chances are, if you've heard of Mood Fabrics you fall into one of two categories: you are either a huge Project Runway fan OR you are an avid home-sewer, a fashion student, or an aspiring designer. Regardless, you know it's New York's go-to spot for anything and everything fabric. 

It was more than 10 years ago that Tim Gunn walked the first batch of Project Runway contestants into Mood Fabrics. This week, the experts behind this fabric power- house bring their fabric and fashion know-how—plus their behind-the-scenes stories—to the sewing public. The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion is the ultimate guide for the home-sewers, fashion students, aspiring designers, and Project Runway fans who want to learn everything they need to know to choose and use quality fabric. Drawing upon the expertise of the Mood staff, the book teaches readers the fundamentals—from where fabric is produced to the ins and outs of its construction—and features a fabric-by-fabric guide to cottons and other plant fibers, wools, silks, knits, and other specialty fabrics.

Intrigued? Hear what Tim Gunn has to say about it

And if you're a frequent shopper at Mood (or would like to be!), take advantage of the promotion that is going on on their site right now! Buy a copy of the book from their site and you'll be automatically entered to win a $250 gift card to the store. 



With the changing seasons, we're shaking things up over at STC Craft

The shifting seasons mean lots of exciting things for us here at STC Craft: a new list of books to share with you, new projects, and new growth and colors all around us. We are excited to present to you a whole new roster of books to get you motivated, teach you something new, and empower you to add a handmade touch to your world. Click on the covers and catalog below to get a feel for what's in store this fall.

We also want to share some news with you. As you may already know, we are entering a new chapter with the departure of Melanie Falick, founding editor of Melanie Falick Books. We celebrate the wonderful program she created here, and we are dedicated to continuing to provide the beautiful, inventive, and inspiring craft books for which STC Craft / Abrams is known. There are many great things on the horizon as the craft and DIY marketplace evolve, and we're so excited to have a front row seat to our readers' creative pursuits— and to broaden and enhance our craft list as a part of it.

Stay tuned! We'll begin to unveil our new crop of projects soon. Meanwhile, kick back, relax, craft on, and savor these remaining weeks of summer.

—Your Friends at STC Craft

 

We loved learning embroidery from Rebecca Ringquist-- and now you can, too!

Earlier this spring, we were lucky to have Rebecca Ringquist come in the Abrams office and teach us some skills from her latest book, Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops.

Scroll through to see the team in action!

hard at work on our stitch samplers

hard at work on our stitch samplers

Check out this amazing finished piece from Abrams' own Lindy Humphreys, Senior Director of Digital Assets & Technology

Check out this amazing finished piece from Abrams' own Lindy Humphreys, Senior Director of Digital Assets & Technology

If you're interested in learning more about embroidery on your own-- now's your chance! Our friends over at Creativebug are offering this amazing beginner package! Get the details over there, and win a sweet beginner pack (plus the book + a 3-month Creativebug subscription so you can follow along and learn with Rebecca, too!)


After a successful book tour, Sherri Lynn Wood is still making waves!

You may have met the multi-talented Sherri Lynn Wood on her cross-country tour to launch The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters this spring.

If you missed her, here are a few lovely recaps from events at Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill, NC; Sewingly Yours in Lewisville, NC; and Malaprops in Asheville, NC.

If you managed to catch Sherri on tour, then you may know that she received over 250 requests and 165 completed submissions for the ten test quilt scores in the book. You may have even seen some online or on display at recent shows like Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon in Austin earlier this spring.

Good news: if you happened to miss them (or if you can't get enough of them), you can join Sherri for a test quilt blog hop going on right now! Click the link above to see where test quilters will be showing off their variations of Sherri's test patterns, and get inspired to try one out on your own!

improvhandbookformodernquilters_p153.jpg

Have you tried one of Sherri's patterns from The Improv Handbook? If so, we'd love to see your results!

Sherri Lynn Wood's Improv Handbook Tour: The Full Schedule

Sherri Lynn Wood is taking the sewing and quilting world by storm with her new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. And now, she's crossing the country to help spread the word—and you can join her!

We kicked off the tour on Friday, May 8th, with a performance at Sew Modern in Los Angeles. Check out these bright and inspiring images plus a great recap from the event on Sherri's blog, Daintytime, here

SLW book tour 2.jpg
 
SLW book tour.jpg

And of course, make sure you catch Sherri when she comes to a city near you:

Saturday, May 16, 12 - 2 PM, Conversation

Rosie's Calico Corner, 7151 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92115

Sunday May 17, 9 AM - 4 PM, Teaching

San Diego MQG, Quilt in a Day, 1955 Diamond St., San Marcos, CA 92078. Register in advance. 

Thursday, May 28, 7 - 9 PM, Presentation

United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, (919) 942-3540

Friday, May 29, 6 - 8 PM, Performance

Thimble Pleasures, 225 South Elliott Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, (919) 968-6050

Sunday, May 31, 10 AM - 5 PM, Teaching

Triangle MQG, Durham Catering, 3710 Shannon Rd. Suite #117, Durham, NC 27707. Register in advance. 

Monday June 1, 5 - 7 PM, Presentation

Sewingly Yours (Triad Area), 1329 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd, Lewisville, NC 27023, (704) 575-9234

Tuesday, June 2, 4 - 6 PM, Conversation

Malaprops Bookstore, 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC, (828) 254-6734

Wednesday, June 3, 6 - 8 PM, Performance

Sewn Studios,3212 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209, (513) 321-0600

Friday, June 5, 3 - 5 PM, Presentation

International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 1523 N 33rd St, Lincoln, NE 68503, (402) 472-6850

Saturday, June 6, 5 - 7 PM, Performance

Fancy Tiger, 59 Broadway St, Denver, CO 80203, (303) 733-3855

Sunday, June 7, 9 AM - 3:30 PM, Teaching

Front Range MQG, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall 3, 15200 W 6th Ave Frontage Rd, Golden, CO 80401. Register in Advance.

Tuesday, June 9, 10 AM - 12 PM, Performance

Scrap Apple Quilts, 144 W. Brigham Rd. #23, St. George, UT 84790, (435) 628-8226

And if you can't join Sherri as she travels from state to state (or even if you can!), you can be part of the action by following along on her month-long blog tour this May.