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Monday
Nov152010

Handmade Holidays 2010


Modern Top-Down Knitting

Material Obsession 2

To download any of these free patterns, simply click on the image.


More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans

Quilting for Peace

Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt

Crafting a Meaningful Home

Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans


Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt


Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts

Wee Wonderfuls

Knitting 24/7

Knitted Socks East & West

One More Skein

As the weather turns from cool to downright chilly, do you find yourself wanting to make handmade gifts for the holidays? We do! As a special gift for our readers, we've put together 14 free patterns that we hope will inspire you to pick up your needles or get out your glue gun and find a few hours to relax and craft. Some of these projects, like the Glasses Case or the Linen-Stitch Bookmarks, can be made in just an hour or two. Others, like the Mermaiden doll or the Mulberry Hat, might take a few more hours, but the end results will be irresistibly satisfying. And if you dream of making a quilt or afghan for a loved one but feel that time is not on your side, why not just work up a swatch or square as an IOU? It will give the recipient something to dream about (or nag you about) in the cold winter months that follow.

But wait! We're not done giving yet. Leave a message in the Comments section below telling us about the handmade gifts you're making this year. By doing so, you'll be entered to win a book from the STC Craft catalog click (here and here). On December 17, 2010, at noon (EST), we'll choose 3 people at random to receive the STC Craft book of his or her choice.

Whether you're a knitter, stitcher, or crafty dabbler, we hope you will find something here that gets you in a gift-giving mood. Simply click on any of the images above to download the instructions.

Happy Holidays!

Limit one (1) entry per person; be sure to enter your email address on the comment form. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C. who are 18 or older as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59:59 AM ET on 12/17/10. Visit www.abramsbooks.com for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

As the weather turns from cool to downright chilly, do you find yourself wanting to make handmade gifts for the holidays? We do! As a special gift for our readers, we've put together 14 free patterns that we hope will inspire you to pick up your needles or get out your glue gun and find a few hours to relax and craft. Some of these projects, like the Glasses Case or the Linen-Stitch Bookmarks, can be made in just an hour or two. Others, like the Mermaiden doll or the Mulberry Hat, might take a few more hours, but the end results will be irresistibly satisfying. And if you dream of making a quilt or afghan for a loved one but feel that time is not on your side, why not just work up a swatch or square as an IOU? It will give the recipient something to dream about (or nag you about) in the cold winter months that follow.

But wait! We're not done giving yet. Leave a message in the Comments section below telling us about the handmade gifts you're making this year. By doing so, you'll be entered to win a book from the STC Craft catalog click (here and here). On December 17, 2010, at noon (EST), we'll choose 3 people at random to receive the STC Craft book of his or her choice.

Whether you're a knitter, stitcher, or crafty dabbler, we hope you will find something here that gets you in a gift-giving mood. Simply click on any of the images below to download the instructions.

Happy Holidays!
Tuesday
Nov092010

The Modern Top-Down Knitting Blog Tour Has Begun!

This month take a break from holiday preparations and join Modern Top-Down Knitting author Kristy McGowan on a blog tour to celebrate her beautiful new book (not to mention the launch of an impressive new website).

Don't miss the first stop--a fantastic interview with Shannon Okey over at Knitgrrl.  See below for the upcoming schedule of Q + A's,  giveaways, style spotlights, and more, hosted by some of our favorite craft blogs.

Have you checked out the Modern Top-Down Knitting image gallery yet? Click here for a peek at the book's super chic projects!

Modern Top-Down Knitting Blog Tour

November 11: Knitgrrl  Q + A/Giveaway

November 21: Whip Up Yarntalk!

November 29: Go Knit in Your Hat Project share

November 30: Narrating Life Handmade Holidays

December 1: Knit-a-While Q + A

December 2: Happy Honeybee  Q + A/Book review

December 7: Uncommon Grace Project share

December 8: Knit and Stitch

December 9: Craftsanity

Tuesday
Nov092010

Meet STC Cooks

Did you know that STC Craft has a new "sister" blog called STC Cooks? It's a great site where you can read about all of the cookbooks that STC publishes and lots of other foodie culture, plus get free recipes.

One of my favorite STC cookbooks, published this fall, is Baked Explorations: Classic American Dessserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliatito. This weekend I tried out their recipe for Soft Candy Caramels. These pretty nuggets taste like a high-quality version of the little square supermarket caramels I remember loving as a child. Mine turned out a little harder than they were supposed to because I let the caramel mixture get a tad too hot, so I couldn't cut them into neat squares (as you can see in my photo above), but they're still delicious. I hope you'll check out STC Cooks. And if you're in New York this week, be sure to attend the Baked Brownie Bake-Off at the Brooklyn Kitchen. It's a fundraiser for the Greenpoint Reformed Church Soup Kitchen and the judges are none other than Baked Explorations authors' Lewis and Poliafito.

Thursday
Nov042010

Celebrate Sewing and Quilting with STC Craft

We are thrilled to show you our new STC Craft Sewing and Quilting brochure, which includes two new titles for spring 2011: Oliver + S Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson and Stitch Magic by Alison Reid. Click on the cover above to open and learn more.

Tuesday
Nov022010

Alabama Chanin Dress--Completed (with a little help from my mom)

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you may recall that last February I posted a photo of the kit I got from Alabama Chanin in order to hand-sew the Spiral Applique & Beaded Camisole Dress from Alabama Studio Style.

The dress is finished. Back in February and March I sewed together the front and back pieces, cut out all of the spirals and pinned them on, stitched one spiral to the back, and then . . . nothing. Everything sat neatly arranged on my ironing board--for a long time. I  just wasn't making time to work on the dress, though I desperately wanted to wear it. And that's when inspiration struck.

In the age-old tradition of daughters everywhere, in July I packed the materials in a bag and gave them to my mother, who is the most industrious person I know. True to form, she worked diligently and a couple of weeks ago, she brought the completed dress to me.

I've worn the dress twice already and love it. Thanks, Mom!

I love the way the beaded parallel whipstich looks at the neckline! I'm thinking about making a dress in this style without any other embellishment except this neckline treatment.

 

Mom improvised a bit on the placement of the circle appliques. They're a little further apart than the ones shown on the dress in Alabama Studio Style. She also added extra beads around some of the sprials; I may add a few more.

Just so you know: I wasn't a total sloth while my mother worked on this dress. I completed an Inked and Quilted Camisole Top from Alabama Studio Style as well as a Subway Hat from Modern Top-Down Knitting (photos to come soon), and the sweater for my son that I posted about below. And in the best news yet: My mom said she liked making the dress and would be willing to make another one with different embellishment.

 

(My photos are in black and white since my color photos made the dress look purple for some reason--the colors on the real dress actually look pretty close to what you see here.)