Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Knits That Fit from Potter Craft

Let me start by giving you a bit of back story. It was about the time that ponchos were all the rage that I was a producer on Knitty Gritty and I was living the knitting every minute of the day. I loved ponchos but alas I felt like I was wearing a sandwich board when I tried them on and I was not really interested in feeling like a walking billboard. Everyone else seemed to look great in them. Bummer for me. The second part of this back story was I also wanted instant knitwear. While I love knitting and do it more as a form of relaxation when I wanted a knit item I went to the land of cast off sweaters and sewed one into my new design, hence my book Sweater Surgery. And that's how it came to be.

Now to today's wonderful book I have to tell you about-Knits That Fit: Instructions, Patterns, and Tips for Getting the Right Fit. As stated in my back story big and floppy does not work on me, I like my sweater action snug and shapely. That is what Knits That Fit is all about. The whole first section is jam packed with great fitting info that is sure to make your sweater be just the way you want it. Then you get a whole bunch of the most lovely sweater patterns that you will love knitting and wearing. I haven't decided what I am going to make because so many of the sweaters have great details and shapes there is everything from hoodies to tanks to choose from! Hmmmm, off to the yarn stash to see what combo I come up with!

More about Knits That Fit: Instructions, Patterns, and Tips for Getting the Right Fit from the publisher Potter Craft:

"Stop following, start knitting! When you lovingly make something stitch-by-stitch, it shouldn’t fit like it came from a department store. However, that’s exactly what happens when you knit to fit a general size instead of your actual measurements. In Knits that Fit, you will learn how to break free from following a pattern word-for-word and start making small changes to tailor your knitwear. It’s not hard, either! You’ll be walked through all the essential ins-and-outs of taking measurements and basic pattern alteration. Before you know it you will be able to tweak nearly any pattern to better fit your unique shape. The accompanying TK patterns in Knits that Fit include short-sleeved tops, pullovers, and cardigans from top knitwear designers like Lily Chin, Annie Modesitt, Berta Karapetyan, Sally Melville, and others. Of course, each of the patterns is ready to be customized by you for the perfect fit—information on shortening or lengthening has been built right in! Whether you’ve knit one sweater or ten, this is a book that will change the way you see patterns and the way you knit sweaters. "

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stefanie and the Bunny Peep drink

I hope your Easter was fabulous!
It's Monday in in my post Easter glow I bring you some links to craftasticly good projects.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to paint a hatching chick, make a recycled book page egg ornament, and a tilt-shift photography effect along with bunny and squirrel clip art.

Carmi's Art/Life World
A little sachet tutorial for Easter or Mother's day projects.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shares a free printable cupcake for you to download and use in your art!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is dreaming about her chance to craft and write over her summer break.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Celebrate spring by making a pressed flower card.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has been sharing a travelog of her most recent trip to Guatemala!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Learn how to make a "black sheep" necklace.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bah Bah Black sheep necklace

Did I get you giggling? I hope so. If you know me you know I am a black sheep so this necklace is quite appropriate. I have so much fun wearing it.

It was fun to make too!

Makin's air dry clay is a dream to work with.

All I did was roll out some of the black and some of the white clay and cut out sheep with their sheep cutter.

I poked a hole in them while they were still soft and set to dry.

I stamped "ewe" on the white sheep and "me" on the black sheep.

I then coated all the sheep with some Judikins Diamond Glaze and linked it all up with some chain.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another double plaid sighting and crafty blogger links

This girl is just too cute in her double purple plaid! If you missed the girl in the double pink plaid check her out here. Oh and the double green plaid dude. I feel the need to document my fellow plaid compadres.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside we are pleased to introduce my UK counterpart Natalie who will be sharing all sorts of crafty goodness from her side of the pond. There is also a free hedgehog plushie pattern and tutorial, a recycled buckle bracelet, tips on how to photograph a horse and info on Simplicity's Great Bandana Quilt Challenge.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Learn how to dye Easter eggs naturally. Not everything needs to come from a kit or a mix!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a stitched back up broken heart card.

The Crochet Dude
Drew met his match when crochet's Boye Toy is interviewed by quilting's Bad Boy!

About Family Crafts
Sherri helps you to plan a creative outdoor adventure!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how she combines, Vintage sheet music, scrap paper, paper napkins and more to create a colorful background on a canvas!

Beading Arts
The final chapter of Cyndi's e-book is now available! "Fibers, Fabrics, and Beads" challenges you to integrate all the fiber arts that you already love with your bead embroidery!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy's BYOC themed craft meeting went very well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to make a stitched broken heart card

Today I have this mixed-media card project to share with you using a stitching idea from the book Flavor for Mixed Media: A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers.
I like using the broken heart as a theme. They are super easy to make. I ran a pretty piece of paper through the Sizzix die cutter and then just sniped the heart in half in a zig zag line.

This page from Flavor for Mixed Media: A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers was my inspiration to stitch back up my broken heart. It features words and art by Tonia Davenport.
I glued the heart down to the card and poked holes on each side of the zig zag with the needle. I then stitched it back up with a piece of silver Kreinik thread.

I thought it came out looking pretty cool from the back side too!

If you are like me and like compilation books filled with art, techniques and inspiration from a variety of artists then I bet you will like:
Flavor for Mixed Media: A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers
Mary Beth Shaw

Creative individuals are typically as passionate about food as they are making art. So while this is a mixed-media technique book, there are underlying analogies of cooking. A dinner-party setting has a guest list featuring contributing artists. You will be introduced to five chapters, or "courses": Color, Layers, Texture, Flavor and Combinations. Each chapter features projects with stepped-out techniques pertaining to that chapter, as well as tabletalk (inspiring insights and constructive tips) from the guests, and sidebars (What?s in Your Pantry) for ideas such as using found objects, painting over ?failed? works and stimulating your brain when you?re out of ideas. Techniques for the projects will show you how to do things like develop layers with stencils, create texture with items like a cheese grater or combine different substrates into one project.

Mary Beth Shaw has been exhibiting in galleries and art shows across the country since 2000. Her mixed-media works incorporate acrylics, pastel, ink, maker and various collage materials. Her pieces have been published in Cloth Paper Scissors as well as in Creative Awakenings by Sheri Gaynor (North Light Books, 2009). Her teaching style and classes have been very well received on the art-retreat teaching circuit.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bishop Pivarunas graces the plaidbunny with a photo op

It was my niece and nephew's confirmation yesterday and the Bishop Pivarunas was gracious enough to take a photo with me. It truly is a Plaidbuuny shot as I am wearing a bunny fur scarf and clearly a plaid coat. I love when I can put together outfits like this.

Want to see another photo of me with another Bishop, one from waaaay back in 1983? Pop on over to The Card Album Blog to see a few and for a tutorial on how to make a faux Polaroid.

And not onto hoppin' good crafty links!

About Family Crafts
Get a start on your Easter crafting by making homemade Easter baskets!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a free crochet pattern for Easter Bunny ears for your Amineko (or little plushie), a link to a super cute felted egg tutorial, a 1,000 Paper Graphics Call for Entries, how to use words to create an image and a fun knit glasses photo.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has a copy of the wonderful new book "Steel Wire Jewelry" that she is just dying to give away!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
A fun and easy crochet Easter Egg pattern.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Make these darling lamb place card holders for Easter or any special spring dinner. So cute!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has 4 good reasons why her crafting and blogging and life in general have been interrupted lately.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi re-vamps a plain leather briefcase.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how to make an easy Easter basket cake that's cute as can be!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to crochet an Easter Egg

Got some scraps of yarn lurking around and in the mood to whip up a few Easter Eggs for decoration? They are super easy and quick! I was inspired to crochet these eggs after reading the new book Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers. I don't have babies or toddlers but I do have Aminekos and they just loved their eggs. If you like Roy's Easter Bunny ears and want to make a pair hop on over the Crocheted Easter Bunny Ears Pattern at Craftside.

This was the page that really inspired me. I loved the concentric circles in pretty colors on this blanket from Little Crochet and they reminded me of the stripes on Easter eggs and I thought how easy it would be to make some.
Here is the rough pattern on how to crochet Easter Eggs as it is quite flexible:

Yarn scraps
Hook to match yarn size.
yarn needle

I pretty much used worsted weight yarn but some of my yarns were smaller so I double stranded.

Chain 3
7-8 single crochets into the first chain stitch
join with slip stitch
Single crochet around increasing about every other stitch until you get to about 15-17 stitches
At this point I started to change colors and make stripes.

Sometimes I did one round and then switched colors other times two rounds. If I planned to use the color again I left the yarn on and just picked it back up when I wanted to use it again. This saved a bit of end knotting etc.

After I did about 6 rows of stripes with no increases I started to decrease about every 3rd or 4th stitch to make the pointier end of the egg.

I should also note after the row of my last color change I trimmed the ends and knotted while the opening was wide.

After a few rounds with decreases I added 3 marbles and some stuffing.

Then when there was only about 3-4 stitches left I cut the yarn and stitched the egg closed.

Pretty easy, hu? Well, if you like crocheting little cute things you will love this book filled with these types of projects!
Little Crochet
Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers

Linda Permann

More about the book from Potter Craft:

Linda Permann, author of Crochet Adorned, brings modern colors and fun-to-work stitch patterns to the pint-sized crowd with this cute collection of over 24 clever crochet patterns for kids.

The adorable designs in Little Crochet are worked in a range of washable fibers and vibrant hues that babies and toddlers are sure to love. Make tiny sweaters, dresses, pants, and accessories while exploring a range of construction techniques, including top-down cardigans, side-to-side sweater vests, motif-based yokes, and traditional seaming. Beautiful blankets, sweaters, soft toys, bibs, booties, and hats employ simple stitches that are sure to steal the show at baby showers. Whether you have a couple of hours or a couple of weeks till the baby's due date—you'll find the perfect project in this book.

And here's the best part: Little Crochet includes size ranging from 0–4+ years, so you can keep crocheting as the little ones in your life grow. Plus, Linda has included lots of wearable patterns for both boys and girls, with swatches showing alternate colorways sprinkled throughout. Each pattern is designed to spark your own creativity, complete with how-to instructions for adding your own crafty touches like sewing, embroidery, and appliqué. Work confidently from Linda's easy-to-follow instructions, clear stitch diagrams ,and schematics, and her illustrated guide to basic and advanced stitches and finishing techniques.

Whether you’re new to crochet or experienced with a hook, you'll find these little designs a joy to stitch and share.

LINDA PERMANN is the author of Crochet Adorned and has published over 50 crochet designs in magazines including Crochet Today, Interweave Crochet, CRAFT, Knit Simple, and Living Crafts. She designs and teaches crochet in San Antonio, Texas. When she's not crocheting, she also enjoys sewing, knitting, gardening and playing with her adorable nephew. Read more about her crafty adventures at

Monday, April 4, 2011

Adele's Rolling in the Deep with crafty links

I simply love, love, love this song and video!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a recycled plastic stamped heart necklace tutorial, how to use research to spark your creativity and draw three-quarter and frontal vintage style portraits along with a fun way to use plates as a font in signage.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen made a necklace and earring set using shells gathered on vacation and shares the how-tos.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi finished up one of the little fabric books that she's been working on!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Learn how to make a painted dotted line greeting card.

The Crochet Dude
Drew unveils an opportunity to unleash your inner crochet designer!

About Family Crafts
Kits are a great way to buy craft supplies and to try new craft techniques. Sherri shares some advice and tips to help you choose craft kits.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen re-shares a fun and easy tutorial showing you how to colorize vintage and black-and-white images.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi showcases some new products from a Canadian trade show.

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess decides to barter for a baby afghan.

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