Wendy Bernard is Back with The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary

Expert fiber artist Wendy Bernard (Knit & Tonic) has been hard at work refining patterns since the release of her groundbreaking reference title Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary in 2014. Available this week, The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary presents 150 new patterns for knitting top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round.

Picking up where the first volume left off, Bernard adds hundreds of new stitch patterns organized similarly by type—knit and purl, textured stitches, ribs, lace, and cables—plus a chapter on mosaic knitting. Each chapter of The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary includes a customizable pattern so that knitters can easily swap out stitch patterns to make their own unique knitted items.

When I get a chance to talk to people about writing these books, they almost always mention how tough it must be to “crack” each of the stitch patterns. Yup. It is hard. The thing is, I do like knitting in the round and top-down, so while designing new knitting patterns it occurred to me that books like these would be helpful to other knitters who, even though many have the skills to convert them on their own, would like a handy reference at their fingertips that does all the work for them.
— Wendy Bernard, from www.knitandtonic.com

Kicking off tomorrow, please join us and our fabulous collaborators for a blog tour, complete with a chance to win a copy of the book, plus hanks from our friends over at Blue Sky Alpacas:

Can't wait to get started? Get a bonus sneak peek project from the book (the Top-Down Double Triangle Shawl) on the Abrams blog here.

We're Celebrating National Puppy Day with Our Newest Release, DIY For Your Dog

Today is National Puppy Day!

While your dog may technically not be a puppy anymore, as all dog lovers know, our furry friends will always be puppies to us. To help us celebrate this special day, we are turning to the pages of our latest book, DIY for Your Dog, which features 30 lovingly handcrafted projects that will show you how to make, bake, and sew delightful treats for your dog.  

Suitable for all breeds, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, these sweet and easy projects are presented in four sections—“Eat,” “Nest,” “Play,” and “Wear”—and include everything from a cozy traveling dog bed, a knitted blanket, and a throw-and-catch bone to an adorable neckerchief, a colorful crocheted leash cover, and a made-to-measure coat for gray days. There are even recipes for wholesome and easy-to-make treats like Doggie Pops, Bite-Size Biscuits, and the ultimate Doggie Birthday Cake. Fun, practical, and irresistibly cute, DIY for Your Dog will inspire you to channel your love for your puppy into a handmade gift from the heart.

For a peek at the projects in the book click through the images below or check out the book on our site.

Whether you’re hand-making a gift, purchasing a treat, or giving your dog a warm hug, make sure your puppies know that today is their day.

Gretchen Hirsch dazzles us again with Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book

Lately, we've been dreaming of shedding our winter coats in favor of breezy spring dresses and flowy cottons. While we wait for March's lamb-like side to show up, we're eyeing the stunning dress patterns featured in Gretchen "Gertie" Hirsch's latest book. Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Styles is officially on sale today, featuring essential techniques for dressmaking, plus instructions and patterns for 23 dresses for a variety of occasions.

Elements from each pattern can be mixed and matched, allowing readers to customize the bodice, skirt, sleeves, pockets, and details of each dress for a truly unique, flattering, vintage-inspired creation.

The follow-up to the popular Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing and Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, the latest from Gretchen Hirsch's collection is packed with all the information and patterns you could ever need to create a wardrobe filled with stunning vintage frocks.

That's not all: we're kicking off a blog tour today, and each stop will feature a chance to win a copy of the book and a bundle of Gertie-designed fabric from her exclusive line for JoAnn from Fabric Traditions.

Follow along, comment, and show us your own Gertie-inspired creations!

March 8 Brewer Sewing
March 9 Madalynne.com
March 14 By Gum By Golly
March 16 A Dress A Day
March 18 Lish Dorset

You can also head over to Gretchen's blog, Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing, for a special publication day post and chance to win.

In case you missed it: we are also excited about this amazing Pinterest contest going on right now. The grand prize winner will receive $586 worth of patterns, fabric, a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores gift card, and a signed book! Click the image below for more information.

 

Happy Sewing!

Knitlandia is here! Read a sample chapter today.

Today's the day! We're excited to present the latest memoir from the esteemed Clara ParkesKnitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World, available now! For a sneak peek from the book, read sample chapter "From Baseball to Broadway: Swatching in the Big Apple" here

In addition to her physical book tour that we posted about last week (first stop: launch party in Somerville, Mass tonight, next stop-- NYC tomorrow!), Clara also has a blog tour lined up later this month. Hope you will join us on our blog tour, below: 

Feb 22           Knit and Tonic 

Feb 24           My Sister’s Knitter 

Feb 26           Mary Jane Muckelstone 

Feb 29           Knit Circus

March 2          Yarniacs 

March 4          Leethal 

March 7          Tin Can Knits

March 17         Marly Bird

Clara Parkes is knitting her way to a city 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 Sees 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.