Celebrating Mom

Mother’s Day has a way of sneaking up on all of us. One minute the calendar says April, and the next thing you know it’s May, with Mother’s Day firmly planted on the first Sunday of the month. This year, don’t let Mother’s Day catch you off-guard. If the mom you're celebrating is a crafter, we’ve got your gift-giving covered! Below are some simple ideas, whether she’s a sewist, a quilter, a knitter, or a paper-folding enthusiast. There’s something for everyone here.
For moms who like handmade décor:
Modern Paper Crafts The Repurposed Library Crafting a Meaningful Home
For moms who like a good read:
A Knitter's Home Companion Knitting for Peace Quilting for Peace
For moms who sew for little ones:
Oliver + S Little Things to Sew Wee Wonderfuls Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt
For moms who love beautiful stitching:
Stitch Magic Alabama Stitch Book Alabama Studio Style
For moms who are fans of Teva Durham:
Loop-d-Loop Lace Loop-d-Loop Loop-d-Loop Crochet
For moms who like to accessorize:
Knitted Socks East and West Knitting New Scarves Knitting New Mittens and Gloves
For moms who quilt with passion:
Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts Material Obsession Material Obsession 2

Knitting Booties for Baby


A lot of my friends are pregnant and, recently, I got the first of the baby shower invitations. Immediately, I went online to look at the baby gift registry, debating between the most practical choices like bibs and wipes and less practical but sweeter ones like stuffed animals and artwork for baby's room. And then I remembered--I'm a knitter; I co-authored a book about knitting for babies; I should knit booties. I know it seems crazy that I could have forgotten those things. But, really, I sort of did. I have been so busy working and managing family life that the idea of creating something special with my own hands was far from the front of my mind. When I received the baby shower invitation, I was much more focused on going online, clicking on a few buttons, and checking this baby gift off my To Do list, than I was on slowing down and spending some quiet, thoughtful time knitting good wishes into something to keep the baby warm and cozy. Fortunately, the knitter in the back of my mind crept forward and reminded me she was there.

The booties I made this weekend are called Beginner Booties. They were designed by Cathy Payson. The pattern comes from Knitting for Baby, the book I co-authored with Kristin Nicholas. They're knit back and forth mostly in garter stitch in one piece from the top down, then sewn together in the center. At the ankle are eyelet holes for the I-cord tie that so effectively keeps the booties on little feet. I chose pink cashmere since I know this baby is a girl and I think cashmere garter sttich is perfect for babies--so soft, squishy, and pure, just like them. 

The time I spent working on these booties felt like a gift to myself. And I hope the baby and her parents can feel the loving thoughts I knit into them. I know this sounds corny but if you're a knitter, I'm sure you understand.

If you would like to see images of more projects from Knitting for Baby, click here.

Gift Guide for Crafty Moms

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9. If you haven't found the perfect gift yet, click here to see a brochure that includes all of our titles.  Or, check out this handy gift guide to some of our newest releases:


Eco-fashionista moms will find loads of inspiration in Natalie Chanin’s Alabama Studio Style.


Busy moms who love to knit will want to get their hands on Veronik Avery’s Knitting 24/7 and Leigh Radford's One More Skein!


Quilting moms will be mesmerized by the gorgeous designs in Kaffe Fasset’s Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts and Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty's Material Obsession!


Moms who like to be challenged by their knitting will certainly enjoy Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr and Knitted Socks East & West by Judy Sumner.


And moms who want to keep everyone warm will appreciate the beautiful afghans in Berroco’s Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans and the unique scarves in Lynne Barr's Knitting New Scarves.


Need more ideas? Try Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross, Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin, and Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell, or one of the many more choices here.

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 http://www.abramsbooks.com/weekend_knitting_rules.html for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

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

My Kata Golda Dog

I recently finished making this little dog from Kata Golda's new book Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt. I loved working with the wool felt (it's soft, the colors are great, and doesn't fray even when you make mistakes and have to rework stitches) and practicing my embroidery. I overstuffed him so his clothes are a little snug, but let's just call him muscular. I finished this guy in a couple of hours, such a quick and satisfying experience. To see more of these sweet characters, check out the video in my last post or the photos in the gallery here.

A Free Pattern & Gift Idea from Weekend Sewing Author Heather Ross and STC Craft

Together with Weekend Sewing author Heather Ross, we've put together an easy gift idea. First, we're giving you the pattern for the Gardening Gloves from Weekend Sewing (shown above) as a free download. And then we're suggesting some creative ideas about how to present them to a friend. For the pattern and the rest of the details (which include some of Heather's adorable illustrations), click here.

To sweeten the deal, we also have three STC Craft books to give away. To enter to win, join us on Twitter (@stc_craft), answer this question--What are you currently crafting or looking forward to starting?--and tag your tweet #STCcraft. On Friday, July 31, 2009, at noon EST, we will choose three winners at random and contact them via Twitter.

Greetings from Knit Cafe Note Cards on Sale

Perfect for spring or really anytime you want to send a personal note, our beautiful Greetings from Knit Cafe Note Cards are on sale on the Abrams website. Regularly priced at $12.95, they are now only $5 (sale price is shown at checkout). There are 15 (3-7/8" x 5-1/4") notecards, 3 each of the 5 shown below, plus 16 envelopes. Suzan Mischer originally commissioned photographer Judith Gigliotti to take these images for her Los Angeles yarn shop, Knit Cafe.

A Handmade Holidays Question and a Book Giveaway

We keep hearing that a lot of gifts are going to be handmade this year. What are your plans? Please take a moment to answer our Handmade Holidays "Questionnaire" below (leave your responses in the Comments section).

*Are you making more handmade gifts this year than you have in previous years?

*Please tell us something about the gifts you're making.

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

On Friday, December 12 at 3PM, we'll pick 5 people at random from the list of responses and send each one the book s/he requested. To see all of our books, click here (and be sure to flip through all 6 pages). Thanks!

(Photo above by Susan Pittard from Handknit Holidays)

Handmade Holidays! 20 Ideas for Gifts You Can Finish!

Above left to right: Rag Boa from Alabama Stitch Book and Luxe Neck Warmer from Knit 2 Together.


Above left to right: Filigree from Knitting New Mittens & Gloves (instructions also included for shorter/quicker version) and Fringe from Knitting New Scarves.


Above left to right: Kelly's Pincushions from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts and Flower Washcloths from Weekend Knitting.


Above left to right: Wide S-Hook Bracelet from Hardwear (almost everything in this book can be made in less than an hour for less than $15) and Felted Rings from AlterKnits Felt (these rings take less than 20 minutes to finish).


Above left to right: Printed Notebooks from Printing by Hand and Flower Coasters from Zakka Sewing.


Above left to right: Arm Bag from Save this Shirt and Snack-Wrapper Wallet from AlternaCrafts.


Above left to right: Felt Needle Case from Kids' Embroidery and Neck Cozy from Kids Crochet.


Above left to right: Meathead Hat from Knitalong (sizing provided for adults also) and Knitted Ornaments from Handknit Holidays.


Above left to right: Sunflower Tam and Nautilus Poncho from Knitting Nature (I've wanted to make the Nautilus since the first time I saw it).


Above left to right: Fishnet Knee-Highs and Silk Slip from Knitting Lingerie Style (note that the top of the slip is knitted and the bottom is fabric).

NOTE: To see a gallery of selected images from the books featured here and others, see the Gallery listings at right.