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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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My New Year's Resolution

It's 2010 and one of my resolutions for the new year is to spend at least 10 minutes crafting each day. Above is my in-progress Beaded-Applique Swing Skirt (also known as the Applique Rose Swing Skirt) from Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin. I'm proud to say I've worked on it every day so far.

When it's done, it will look like this.


Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr--How We Chose the Cover

All of us at STC Craft were excited and intrigued by the response to our Reversible Knitting cover post. Over 550 of you shared your opinions about the cover we chose and the three runner-ups. So, for today's post, as part of the Reversible Knitting blog tour,  I'm going to explain to you how we made our decision.

All of the covers and the interior of the book were designed by Sarah Von Dreele, with photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy. For several weeks Sarah and I collaborated on the cover design in preparation for the meeting at which I would present the choices to the cover committee (a group composed of our CEO as well as individuals who hold key positions in sales, marketing, publicity, and editorial). The cover committee makes the final cover choice.

Top left: Everyone loved this cover because of the great texture of Wenlan Chia's Winding Path sweater and because of the way it shows the two sides of the knitted fabric, plus the swatches of course. The cover committee was concerned that we might not be showing enough sweater and didn't like the model looking down (away from the customer). The Traveling Path sweater can be worn as shown on this cover as well as inside out and upside down (see bottom left cover and the gallery).

Top right: Graphically, this cover (like the others in this format) works beautifully, however no one felt that Lynne Barr's Two-Tone Vest was as eye-catching on the cover as the other options. One of the cool aspects of this vest is that it can be worn with either side of the fabric right side out and with either side in front or back (check out the gallery to see what I mean).

Bottom left: This cover, showing Wenlan Chia's sweater worn with the reverse side of the fabric outward (compared to the way it is being worn in the top left cover), was never a serious contender because it didn't show the swatches (such an integral part of the book) and because the color and graphic design seemed dull compared to the other options. That is why when I read everyone's responses, I was so surprised to find out how many people thought this was the best cover of all. I'll definitely keep this reaction in mind as we work on covers for future books.

Bottom right: This was the cover committee's top choice because it is colorful, shows a beautiful garment with a reversible cable (Reverse Me designed by Norah Gaughan), plus the swatches, and because the model looks friendly and approachable. Overall, this is the cover that everyone believed said "Pick up this book and take a look inside" most boldly and that, of course, is a cover's main purpose.

Thanks to everyone who commented . The winner of a copy of Reversible Knitting will be notified after the contest ends at 11:59pm on December 21, 2010. Meanwhile, if you have a few minutes, check out this fascinating Q&A with Lynne Barr here.


Our First Peek at 2010 -- Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin

We will be releasing 5 new craft books in the spring of 2010. Above is a sneak peek at the cover of the first one, Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin, the creative force behind Alabama Chanin and the author of Alabama Stitch Book. Click here to see a sampling of the beautiful inside spreads. I love hand-stitching--and wearing--Alabama Chanin clothing. Earlier this year I wrote about my experiences stitching a camisole dress and a corset.


Reversible Knitting Blog Tour, Contest, and Alternate Covers!

Lynne Barr's blog tour has begun! Follow her via the schedule below, and discover compelling reviews, gorgeous pictures from the book, new insights about Lynne and her work, and more! And, if you leave a comment about which of the scrapped cover choices below is your favorite (or how you think the chosen cover above stands up to these), you may just win a copy of Reversible Knitting to cozy up to during long, cold January!

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, DC, who are 18 or older as of date of entry. Contest ends at 11:59pm on Dec. 21st. Note that if you leave a comment we will add you to our e-mailing list (unless you tell us within your comment, that you do not want to be added.)

Dec. 08 - Review

Dec. 09 - Q&A

Dec. 09 – Interview/book feature

Dec. 10 - Review

Dec. 11 Q&A

Dec. 11 - Review

Dec. 14 - Review

Dec. 15 - Project discussion

Dec. 16 - Q&A

Dec. 17 - "One designer to another" 

Dec. 17 - Review / Q&A

Dec. 18 - Review

Dec. 21 - Special post

Dec. 22 - "Stitch and size"

Jan.  tbd - Review

Jan.  tbd - Review



2nd Annual STC Craft Handmade Holidays Giveaway

Last year's Handmade Holidays Giveaway was so much fun for us that we've been talking about hosting another one this year ever since. Here's the deal: Answer our questions below in the Comments section and automatically you will be entered to win the book of your choice; you will also be added to our e-mailing list (unless you tell us not to add you).

*What types of handmade gifts are you making this year?

*Are you trying any new crafts?

*What is the title of one STC Craft book that you'd like to receive as a gift this year?

On Wednesday, December 9, at about noon (EST), we'll pick five names in a random drawing from all eligible entries received and send them email notification. We will then send them the books they requested. To see all of our books, click here (and be sure to flip through all 6 pages). Thanks!

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, DC, who are 18 or older as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59:59am on 12/9/09. Visit for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

(Sparkly Kiss Cap by Leslie Scanlon from Handknit Holidays; photo by Susan Pittard.)