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On this blog we share stories and ideas about the work we do at STC Craft and the craft world overall.

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Wednesday
Nov192014

Guest Post from Wendy Bernard + Creativebug Giveaway + Holiday Crafting - 5 Weeks Out!

With T minus 5 weeks until the holidays, we're back with more gifting ideas that you can get started on now. As a special bonus, we also have author and knitter extraordinaire Wendy Bernard here with words of wisdom on knitting inspiration, info on adding new stitches to your needlearts repertoire in time to create a holiday gift, plus a giveaway from Creativebug. From Wendy: 

I think it was just about 11 years ago when top-down knitting caught my eye.

I had started knitting again after a more than 30-year hiatus when I was expecting my daughter—grandma taught me when I was young and I never really knit after that. Of course, I knit my newborn one of those hats that resembles a strawberry. It sort of seemed like the right thing to do.

Fast forward to now. I’ve been so happily knitting and writing books that feature patterns that are knit down from the top: Sweaters, hats, you name it. For some reason, the idea that you start at the top and work your way down to the hem seamlessly made sense to me. And ever since I figured out how to do it and how to make patterns this way, I have wanted to share my ideas with other knitters.

Books will always be here with us, they are so wonderful: we can hold them in our hands and mark them up with post-its. They sit on our shelves and make us happy. The Internet has added another dimension for me, though. With streaming online videos growing in popularity, it is possible for you to take online classes that aren’t live, which means you can pop in whenever you like and follow along at your own pace. Creativebug is that sort of place and I’m so excited to tell you that I have a four-week course on Creativebug where I share with you how to knit two types of sweaters, from the top down, seamlessly!

What makes me even more excited is that my latest book, Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary shows you how to knit more than 150 stitch patterns not only flat, but in the round, and top-down as well. This means, as you watch my courses on Creativebug, you will be able to swap out the plain ribbing in these sweaters and insert other ribbings that strike your fancy. Same thing for the other parts of the sweaters: if you want to spruce up the otherwise plain stockinette stitch, do a little shopping in the book and insert another stitch pattern that you like even more.

Working with Creativebug.com was so much fun. The crew even came out to my home studio and hung out with my family for a day so we could share with you a little of my background and my love for knitting and crafting. You can watch the trailers and videos for a bit of background. And speaking of crafting: Creativebug isn’t only about knitting. The classes they feature range from jewelry-making to quilting to ceramics, and even working with leather. This new online genre is a great one and I hope that you’ll check it out!

And without further ado, here are more holiday crafting ideas at five weeks out from Wendy and some of our other 2014 books:  

Slouch Cap from Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary by Wendy Bernard

 

Pleated Mittens from Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary by Wendy Bernard

Breve Cowl from Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads by Cirilia Rose

Heima Slippers from Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads by Cirilia Rose

Cotton Scrap Rag Rug from Cloth by Cassandra Ellis

Metallic Leather Sling from Cloth by Cassandra Ellis

 

If the ideas above have your creative gears turning, but you're stuck on a step or technique (or maybe you want to learn something entirely new), why don't you go ahead and try out Creativebug on your own? Enter here for a chance to win a copy of Wendy's book, Up, Down, All-Around Stitch-Dictionary, 2 project patterns, and yarn courtesy of Blue Sky Aplacas. The best part? The prize package also includes a free six-month subscription to Creativebug, so you can take all of Wendy's classes, plus any other crafting courses that strike your fancy! But hurrythe contest ends in 4 days!

Friday
Nov142014

This Thanksgiving, perfect your table alongside your menu 

When we're planning the holidays, the meal often gets the spotlight and everything else is on the backburner (literally!)

With only a few weeks until Thanksgiving, we have some crafting ideas from our 2014 releases that won't take too much of your attention away from the turkey, but will have your home looking as effortlessly festive as your main course. Take a look for some weekend inspiration:

Moveable Feast Table Runner & Napkins from Novel Living by Lisa Occhipinti

Vibrant Party Centerpiece from The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers by Livia Cetti

Wreath from The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers by Livia Cetti

 

Japanese Heraldry Coasters from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

Paper Towns from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

 Cuts of Meat Table Runner from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

 

Tuesday
Nov112014

Novel Living is coming to a bookshelf near you 

As a book publisher, naturally we are always thinking about the physicality of books: how they look, feel, and smell; how they fit into our lives (both literally and figuratively); how they can transcend physical form to shape our very reality.

In our latest release, Novel Living, Lisa Occhipinti celebrates physical books and the many ways they enrich our lives, especially in this digital era. She shares her unique ideas for collecting and displaying them, for conserving and preserving them, and for crafting with them. 

Feeling intrigued? Check out the cover. That DIY wallpaper in the photo features library pockets. Cool, right?

Here's a standard wooden ladder transformed into modern bookshelving.

 This is a Book Sling Lisa uses in her guest room and chooses the books to hang on it according to her guest's interests.

And these beautiful Page Poufs are an artistic statement composed of book pages.

Want to see more? Check out our Novel Living image gallery, the gallery for Lisa's first book The Repurposed Library, plus these "Five Genius Decor Ideas" from Novel Living that were featured in the Huffington Post last week.

Tuesday
Nov042014

Cirilia Rose Taps into All Aspects of the Knitting Persona in Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads

According to Cirilia Rose, there are three moods to knitters' personalities. We're Magpies, collecting small amounts of precious yarns and not always knowing quite what to do with them. We're Homebodies, sometimes preferring the quiet of our own perch. And we're also Nomads, venturing into the world to meet friends and gather inspiration. Of course, on different days and times in our lives, we might be more one than another. 

MAGPIES

 

HOMEBODIES
 

NOMADS

In Rose's new book, Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads: A Modern Knitter's Guide to Discovering and Exploring Style, Rose explores these three different moods with a 25-piece collection of handknits. An astute cultural observer, Rose also shares engaging stories about her experiences as a designer, stylist, and world traveler, and her eclectic tips for capturing and honing personal style.

Rose's sensitive presentation is made all the more special with gorgeous photography by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. View more from the book in our image gallery, plus our project pattern library on ravelry.

Monday
Oct132014

'Tis the Season for Handcrafted Christmas!

If author Susan Waggoner had her way, every Christmas would be a handcrafted one...

... and now, yours can be too! If you've been spending these last few chilly evenings hearing those sleigh bells ringing and dreaming of a blanket of white snow, then prepare to sate your holiday yearnings with Handcrafted Christmas: Ornaments, Decorations, and Cookie Recipes to Make at Home! This collection of more than thirty-five warm, inviting projects and recipes inspired by the treasures and flavors of the 1920s through the 1960s are certain to make you nostalgic for Christmases past.

Get ready for the most wonderful time of the year by taking a look at the image gallery here. And start planning your own vintage-style celebrations with everything from pinecone wreaths and punched-tin votive holders to beloved cookie swap recipes like Chocolate Sour Cream Drops and Pecan Tassies. Handcrafted Christmas is in stores now.