Wendy Bernard is Back with The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary

Expert fiber artist Wendy Bernard (Knit & Tonic) has been hard at work refining patterns since the release of her groundbreaking reference title Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary in 2014. Available this week, The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary presents 150 new patterns for knitting top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round.

Picking up where the first volume left off, Bernard adds hundreds of new stitch patterns organized similarly by type—knit and purl, textured stitches, ribs, lace, and cables—plus a chapter on mosaic knitting. Each chapter of The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary includes a customizable pattern so that knitters can easily swap out stitch patterns to make their own unique knitted items.

When I get a chance to talk to people about writing these books, they almost always mention how tough it must be to “crack” each of the stitch patterns. Yup. It is hard. The thing is, I do like knitting in the round and top-down, so while designing new knitting patterns it occurred to me that books like these would be helpful to other knitters who, even though many have the skills to convert them on their own, would like a handy reference at their fingertips that does all the work for them.
— Wendy Bernard, from www.knitandtonic.com

Kicking off tomorrow, please join us and our fabulous collaborators for a blog tour, complete with a chance to win a copy of the book, plus hanks from our friends over at Blue Sky Alpacas:

Can't wait to get started? Get a bonus sneak peek project from the book (the Top-Down Double Triangle Shawl) on the Abrams blog here.

Knitlandia is here! Read a sample chapter today.

Today's the day! We're excited to present the latest memoir from the esteemed Clara ParkesKnitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World, available now! For a sneak peek from the book, read sample chapter "From Baseball to Broadway: Swatching in the Big Apple" here

In addition to her physical book tour that we posted about last week (first stop: launch party in Somerville, Mass tonight, next stop-- NYC tomorrow!), Clara also has a blog tour lined up later this month. Hope you will join us on our blog tour, below: 

Feb 22           Knit and Tonic 

Feb 24           My Sister’s Knitter 

Feb 26           Mary Jane Muckelstone 

Feb 29           Knit Circus

March 2          Yarniacs 

March 4          Leethal 

March 7          Tin Can Knits

March 17         Marly Bird

The perfect book to get you in the Mood for sewing

“Designers, we’re going to Mood!”

Chances are, if you've heard of Mood Fabrics you fall into one of two categories: you are either a huge Project Runway fan OR you are an avid home-sewer, a fashion student, or an aspiring designer. Regardless, you know it's New York's go-to spot for anything and everything fabric. 

It was more than 10 years ago that Tim Gunn walked the first batch of Project Runway contestants into Mood Fabrics. This week, the experts behind this fabric power- house bring their fabric and fashion know-how—plus their behind-the-scenes stories—to the sewing public. The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion is the ultimate guide for the home-sewers, fashion students, aspiring designers, and Project Runway fans who want to learn everything they need to know to choose and use quality fabric. Drawing upon the expertise of the Mood staff, the book teaches readers the fundamentals—from where fabric is produced to the ins and outs of its construction—and features a fabric-by-fabric guide to cottons and other plant fibers, wools, silks, knits, and other specialty fabrics.

Intrigued? Hear what Tim Gunn has to say about it

And if you're a frequent shopper at Mood (or would like to be!), take advantage of the promotion that is going on on their site right now! Buy a copy of the book from their site and you'll be automatically entered to win a $250 gift card to the store. 

We loved learning embroidery from Rebecca Ringquist-- and now you can, too!

Earlier this spring, we were lucky to have Rebecca Ringquist come in the Abrams office and teach us some skills from her latest book, Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops.

Scroll through to see the team in action!

hard at work on our stitch samplers

hard at work on our stitch samplers

Check out this amazing finished piece from Abrams' own Lindy Humphreys, Senior Director of Digital Assets & Technology

Check out this amazing finished piece from Abrams' own Lindy Humphreys, Senior Director of Digital Assets & Technology

If you're interested in learning more about embroidery on your own-- now's your chance! Our friends over at Creativebug are offering this amazing beginner package! Get the details over there, and win a sweet beginner pack (plus the book + a 3-month Creativebug subscription so you can follow along and learn with Rebecca, too!)

Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops are coming to a bookshelf near you! PLUS a giveaway!

We're thrilled to share our new book Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops--and to tell you about a pretty fantastic giveaway!

Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops is based on the popular classes Rebecca Ringquist, embroideress extraordinaire, teaches around the country. For the novice or experienced embroiderer who appreciates the value of beautiful stitches but also likes to break a few rules along the way, Rebecca teaches everything from the “proper” way to form a French knot and transfer a design to a canvas, to new ways to stitch three-dimensionally, mix and match machine- and hand-stitching, and so much more.

Also featured are instructions for 20 innovative projects, including a cloth sampler designed especially for the book (and packaged in an envelope at the back), table linens, wall art, and clothing embellishments.

Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops is available today everywhere books are sold. To see more gorgeous photos from this book (all taken by the inimitable Johnny Miller), check out our gallery. (To see a few photos that Johnny took that we didn't have room for in the book, be sure to check out Johnny's site.)

For any New York-based readers, don't miss Rebecca's book launch gathering at The City Quilter (133 W. 25th St, NYC) on May 5th at 6 - 7 pm! More info.

Giveaway Alert: We're also thrilled to give all of you a chance to win this amazing embroidery gift pack--an awesome starter kit for the beginner embroiderer, or a great set of goodies for the experienced stitcher. *Three* lucky winners will receive this gift pack featuring the following items:

  • One Pack of Super Solvy Water-Soluble Transfer Material
  • One Sulky Transfer Marker
  • One Pack of DMC Embroidery floss
  • One Pair of DMC Embroidery Scissors
  • One DMC Embroidery Floss Organizer
  • Three packs of Clover Embroidery Needles
  • One Clover Disappearing Ink Marker
  • One Pack of Clover Flower Head Pins
  • One Pack of Weeks Dye Works Embroidery Floss
  • One Pack of Weeks Dye Works 2 Strand Floss
  • One Pack of Weeks Dye Works Perle Cotton
  • One Skein of DyedFiber Perle Tencel
  • One Dropcloth Sampler "Pysanka"
  • Three 3-month Creativebug subscriptions for you + some friends (check out Rebecca's classes here)
  • One copy of Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops
STC Prize Packs-7510.jpg

actual package contents may differ slightly from the photo above.

To enter: just comment in the blog below (tell us why you should win!), andfollow STC Craft (@STC_Craft), Rebecca Ringquist (@dropcloth) and Clover USA (@cloverusa) on instagram between now and April 21st!

Good luck!

The fine print: 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 between April 14 and 21, 2015. To enter, comment on this blog post and follow STC Craft (@STC_Craft), Rebecca Ringquist (@dropcloth) and Clover USA (@cloverusa) on instagram from April 14 – 21, 2015. Limit one (1) entry per person. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m.ET on April 21, 2015. Three (3) winners shall be selected in a random drawing to receive an embroidery prize pack.Visit http://www.abramsbooks.com/RREW_STCblog_rules.html for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

Holiday Crafting Memories and a Recipe Treat from Susan Waggoner

Well, we've had our first official snowfall here in New York City, and it's beginning to look a lot like the holidays! We can't help but feel a little giddy at the thought of all of the upcoming baking and sipping and  time spent with friends and family. Excited as we are, sometimes we look up and realize the calendar is nearing dangerously close to a party or holiday commitment and we're feeling underprepared!

Fear not, Susan Waggoner, author of Handcrafted Christmas: Ornaments, Decorations, and Cookie Recipes to Make at Home, is here with a holiday memory and a delicious recipe to get you inspired and in the spirit! Here's Susan:

Forget Black Friday and the insanity of 5 a.m. store openings. To me, the day after Thanksgiving will always be the day Christmas crafting and decorating begin. My mother me this. Start your crafting and decorating early and it will be fun; wait until mid-December and pressure will steal away the joy.

The day after Thanksgiving, a card table would go up in the family room. My mother would already have a list of things she wanted to make for gift exchanges, and a stack of magazine pages with decorating ideas she wanted to try. My father would be called away from the football games for engineering and carpentry input, and we’d be off and running. As my mother got out supplies and decorations, my job was to make a list of all that needed to be replenished and replaced.

Over a dinner of hot turkey sandwiches and mashed potatoes, we’d plot our path through the craft stores the next morning. Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday would be our work days, and by the end of the weekend, we’d have a good start on all we wanted to do. We were ready for snow. We were ready for Christmas.

The card table remained up throughout the entire season. When the crafting and decorating projects were done, it became our wrapping table. My frugal mother did not believe in buying expensive paper or matching tags. She saved cards sent to us in previous years, bought tissue paper, glitter, tape, glue, and ribbon (never pre-made bows) and let us decorate our own packages. I loved going through the old cards and finding an image that was just right for the recipient of the gift - outdoor woodland scenes with deer for my father, chic modern-looking motifs for my mother, skating Santas or Beatrix Potter scenes for my sister, who eventually confessed, as an adult, to disliking Potter’s art.

After Christmas, the table was cleared and brought upstairs to our den, where it held the annual jigsaw puzzle Santa left by our stockings. I have no idea what became of that card table, but I know what became of the memories - I still have them.

So take time to start your crafting and decorating early. Make the most of every Christmas minute and you’ll double your stock of good memories.

Here’s a Christmas treat from Susan that you can make ahead and set aside for holiday gifts and parties, or snack on while you craft and decorate:

image (c) Lori Lange, 2011. 

Almond Roca

For this you will need a candy thermometer and these ingredients:

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

Big pinch of coarse salt

1 pound whole roasted salted almonds (may substitute roasted salted peanuts or pecans)


First, prepare a pan by placing a silicone mat or bakers parchment on a clean cookie sheet.

In a medium heavy‑duty saucepan, heat the water, butter, both sugars and salt over low heat. I have found that the secret to making good buttercrunch is a slowed-down heating process. Cookbooks suggest this can be done in 15 or 20 minutes, but this makes it easy to scorch the mixture or end up with a grainy result. I spend 30 to 45 minutes on this and have always been rewarded with crisp, perfect candy. Start over low heat, stirring and scraping down the sides occasionally to make sure everything is blended and the nothing is sticking to the corners of the pan.

Fit the candy thermometer onto the saucepan, making sure the is not touching the bottom of the pan.

You are now going to cook this mixture until it reaches a temperature of 300° F. (150° C.). Raise the heat slowly at first, and more quickly as you near the end. Stir mixture and scrape the sides of the saucepan occasionally at first, more often as the heat rises, and nearly continuously when the mixture begins to boil and foam.

The minute the temperature reaches 300° F., remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the almonds and spread immediately onto the prepared pan. You need to work quickly, as the mixture begins to set up as soon as it’s off the burner. Use a spatula to spread as thinly as possible.

Allow to cool and set up several hours or overnight. Store in a lidded tin lined with a napkin or a lidded plastic container.


For more ideas for cozy vintage-inspired crafting and baking  from Susan's latest book, view our image gallery or order it online. 


Celebrate Fall by Knitting-A-Long with Guest Blogger and STC Craft Author Katie Startzman

Hello! I’m Katie Startzman, author of STC Craft’s The Knitted Slipper Book. I blog at Duo Fiberworks with my twin sister Laura Poulette. Thanks to STC Craft for inviting me to guest post here!

We will soon be deep into slipper season—blustery, gray days and downright cold starlit nights. As someone who delights in making and wearing slippers, I look forward to this time of year. It’s an opportunity of pile on the handknits, make lots of soup, and catch up on my reading by the woodstove. But we’re not quite there yet. Here in Kentucky, we still have a good long stretch of crisp Fall weather ahead of us, and the layers I put on in the morning get peeled off as the day warms up.

To celebrate the changing seasons, I wanted to do a knit-a-long that featured a pair of slippers that would be a good fit for this transitional time of year. The Cotton Loafers from The Knitted Slipper Book are shoe-like slippers that are made from soft organic cotton and rustic jute twine. They’re my knitted mash-up of boat shoes, espadrilles, and loafer moccs. They feature functional leather lacing, and the thick jute sole is sturdy and comfy.


I’ll be hosting the knit-a-long on my blog, over the next two weeks. In a series of posts, I’ll share tips and tricks to knitting these quick-to-finish, stylish slippers. You can view the first post here. Since many folks are unaccustomed to knitting with jute, I’ll also be sharing a free pattern that combines the cotton and jute to make a mini-tote.

Thanks to Blue Sky Alpacas, we have giveaways planned too—a sweet kit of organic worsted cotton yarn, jute, and a hand-stenciled canvas project bag made by yours truly.

**To enter the giveaway here, leave a comment between now and Friday, September 26 sharing something that you love about this time of year.** The winner will be announced on Monday, September 29.

Be sure to join us at Duo Fiberworks in the coming days to knit with us and for a chance to win a kit over there too. Here’s the schedule:

Monday, September 22:      Inspiration and design

Thursday, September 25:    Knitting the jute sole, project kit giveaway begins.     
Monday, September 29:      Knitting the slipper upper: Also share free pattern for the Bird Nest Mini-Tote

Thursday,  October 2:         Seaming and finishing details, announce giveaway winner

Heather Ross Hits the Road with the How to Catch a Frog Book Tour!

Illustration © Heather Ross


Much of Heather Ross’s creative work has been inspired by her eccentric upbringing in the 1970s in a family of artists and idealists in a rural corner of Vermont, an environment defined by stunning natural beauty, creative and innovative living, and daily lessons in self-reliance. In How to Catch a Frog: And Other Stories of Family, Love, Dysfunction, Survival, and DIY, Ross retraces her path from bohemian childhood to adult life as an artist, entrepreneur, mother, and wife.

For the next couple of weeks Ross will be traveling the country to spread the word about her new book. Catch Heather for a reading and signing at a stop near you--and support your local bookstore! Every one who purchases a book at a book tour stop will also receive a special-edition print (see above right) from Heather. Plus, Heather will be previewing her new fabric line with Windham.

Heather's Schedule

May 10 @ 1PM: Corte Madera, CA - Book Passage in the SF Ferry Building (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

May 12 @ 7:30PM: Portland, OR - Powell’s City of Books (1005 W. Burnside St.)

May 13 @ 7:30PM: Denver, CO - Tattered Cover (2526 E. Colfax Ave.) 

May 14 @ 7PM: Austin, TX - Book People (603 North Lamar)

May 15 @ 7PM: Wayzata, MN - The Bookcase (824 East Lake St.)

May 17 @ 2PM: Chicago, IL - Book Cellar, hosted at the Sulzer Library (4455 N. Lincoln Ave.)

May 22 @ 7PM: Brooklyn, NY - Powerhouse Arena, NYC (37 Main St.)

Early praise for How to Catch a Frog:

These brave and beautiful stories reveal the essence of Heather's singular creative gift--her talent for turning chaos into something magical and unexpected, with resourcefulness, wit, and wisdom.

Denyse Schmidt, designer and artist 

You will be instantly smitten by this intoxicating memoir filled with truths, mystery, and magic. What a treasure to peek into the makings of this beautiful dreamer! 

Amy Butler, artist and author

Can't make the tour? Enter for a chance to win a free copy of the book via Goodreads!

Today's Bloom: The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers

Though it's a rainy Tuesday here in New York, a little burst of spring has arrived, with Livia Cetti's The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers: A Guide to Making Unbelievably Realistic Paper Blooms, in stores today!



The country’s premiere paper-flower artist, author Livia Cetti is known for her high-style, gorgeous tissue and crepe-paper flowers—which are often mistaken for real flowers.


In The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers, for the first time Cetti shares her techniques for hand crafting popular blooms, including peonies, poppies, roses, and hibiscus, and for combining them to create garlands, centerpieces, wreaths, corsages, and boutonnieres.



Whether your goal is to decorate for a spring wedding or shower, celebrate a birthday or graduation, or just add a bit of color to your home, you'll find endless inspiration in the pages of this step-by-step guide.













View our image gallery for more stunning photos from this book, plus a cherry blossom tutorial from a recent issue of InStyle! We know what we'll be doing on this rainy afternoon....

A Handmade Holiday Recipe from Susan Waggoner, Author of Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas

A Guest Post by Susan Waggoner

My early Christmases were celebrated in Des Moines, Iowa, with my father’s family, a group to whom Yuletide was equal parts holiday and competitive crafting marathon. Today, my most vibrant memories of those years revolve around what was made rather than what was bought: red voile aprons with white poinsettias painted--freehand--by my grandmother; a host of miniature angels crafted by my mother hovering around an organ my father made, using his drafting pencils for pipes; wreaths of pinecones. It was exciting to be even on the fringes of such activity.

A few years later, when we relocated to Minnesota, my mother kept up the tradition on her own, gluing mercury glass beads to pine boughs on the steppes of suburbia. Our Christmas Eves were quieter, lit by tiny blue lights and the magical hush of a house surrounded by deep snow. In Minnesota, we followed my mother’s family tradition, and hand-crafting took the form of a Swedish smorgasbord, with tender meatballs in cream gravy, sweet Swedish rye bread with orange peel grated in for the occasion, a sweet-and-sour brown bean dish known as bruna bönor, and for dessertkringler, a delectable almond pastry whose very taste still summons up to me the essence of so many Christmases gone by.

Swedish Kringler

This is a surprising recipe in that it has no sugar other than the frosting, and the filling sounds about as appealing as wallpaper paste. Nevertheless, the end result is delicious. If I'm just making this for a few people, I make half the recipe. I don't try to do half of 3 eggs, I just pick the largest egg in the carton and it works fine. To keep the crust crisp, I store leftovers in a shoebox, or on a plate loosely tented with foil.


1 c flour

½ c butter

2 tbsp water


1 c water

½ c butter

1 c flour

3 eggs

1 tsp almond extract


1 c powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk or cream

1 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp almond extract

To make the crust:

Pulse ingredients in a food processor or cut with knives as you would pie dough to make a crumbly dough that will stick together if you press it.

Round up dough in two balls.

On a cookie sheet (a silicon mat on the cookie sheet is swell, as is baker’s parchment), pat into 2 long strips, about 4" x 12" each. This is kind of messy and sticky—I use the side of my hand to push it into shape. No problem if it looks rustic.

To make the filling:

Put water and butter in a saucepan. Heat to melt butter, then increase heat, bring to boil and remove from heat immediately. Add flour and stir until smooth. Beat in one egg at a time. Add extract and spread over crust.

Bake on 325 for about 40 minutes, until the edges of the crust turn golden brown.

To make the frosting:

Whip ingredients together. 

When cool, frost and garnish with slivered almonds or multicolored sprinkles or drained maraschino cherry halves.  Slice crosswise in strips about 1" wide.

For more traditional holiday recipes as well as vintage-inspired holiday decorations, check out Susan's book Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas.

Behind Every Great Knitter...

Back in August, Larissa Brown, author of My Grandmother's Knitting, wrote a guest post for our blog. In the spirit of her new book, Larissa asked the question: Who inspired you to knit? 

There's a story behind every knitter's first stitch, and Larissa had the idea--inspired by this legendary video--to celebrate teachers and mentors with a collective photo album. Participating is easy: Just find blank paper and a bold marker, write down the name of your special person, hold up your sign, and take a picture. Then add your image to the growing collection on the My Grandmother's Knitting Facebook page

I have the pleasure of working with many creative types, so last week I brought my camera to the office and got started on STC Craft's contribution to this project.

Liana and Melanie were the first to pose:

Even seasoned knitters like Melanie had to begin somewhere!


Did Liana's friend Susi know she'd inspire a hobby and a career?

Some of my crafty colleagues in the marketing department also proudly held up signs.  Ashley Rich: Marketing Manager by day, knitter by night.

I even snapped photos of some rather famous visitors. "Kaffe Fassett is here," Melanie casually mentioned as she passed by my office. "He's available now if you want to take his picture."

Sure, no big deal--I photograph world-famous artists all the time. I immediately scrambled for my camera and followed Melanie to a table where Kaffe, Brandon Mably, Liza Prior Lucy, and graphic designer Anna Christian were studying potential layouts for Kaffe's upcoming autobiography.

An impromptu photoshoot ensued. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Kaffe hints at the contents of his next book...


Not only is Brandon talented--he's also crazy photogenic! (Click on the photo to enlarge so you can read Brandon's message.)


Brandon and Liza horse around for the camera. Priceless.


Now we know who's behind Anna's many talents!

Check out the My Grandmother's Knitting Facebook page here. One click of the "Like" button and you can download a free pattern from the book, admire other knitters' photos, and hopefully share one of your own!

From The Repurposed Library: A New Sewing Box

If you’re reading this blog, you are most likely a person who A) loves crafts, and B) loves books. If you meet both of those criterion, then chances are you'll be interested in one of our newest STC Craft titles: The Repurposed Library.

When we first acquired this book nearly two years ago, e-readers were new on the scene. The Nook may not have existed yet, but we could see which way the wind was blowing. The Repurposed Library felt like the perfect response to a tech-savvy world that’s changing before our eyes. Both ironic and beautiful, The Repurposed Library presents craft projects to make, literally, out of old books, lifting obscure tomes off of dusty shelves, and putting them in a new light. 

I edited this book and worked closely with the author, Lisa Occhipinti, from beginning to end. When I finally decided to make a project from the book, I was drawn to so many things—from the decorative book bursts made from folded book pages to the shelves made from a sturdy stack of drilled hardcovers—but the sewing box seemed like an excellent choice for me since I love to sew and am constantly leaving my notions about. Shown above is the inside of my finished sewing box, and below is what it looks like when it's closed.

I must say, the hardest part of making this project was picking out the book. As a book lover, it is very hard to find a book you feel okay about putting under the knife. Especially with old books, there’s a certain amount of reverence—a sense that it has been passed through many hands, perhaps loved, perhaps not—and that you are now the keeper of this book in a vast "world library." So, I’m not going to lie: I bought four used books before I found the one I felt okay about transforming into a sewing box. Luckily, Lisa provides us with a very helpful section on selecting books—from how to identify first edition and rare books (which you should not cut up) to the importance of evaluating sentimental value—so when I found the book I wanted, I felt good about my choice.

I chose an old Reader’s Digest Condensed Book from the 1950s. The books in this series all have wonderful, decorative hardback covers hiding beneath their jackets, and almost no value whatsoever. As an added bonus, there are cute little illustrations throughout, which I’ve been cutting out and gluing onto homemade cards (shown below is a card I sent to my mom for Mother’s Day…)

The sewing box project couldn’t have been easier. To get started, you simply remove the pages from the book with two slices of an Xacto knife down the inside spine (the pages will all be glued or sewn together, so they come out in one big chunk). Then you measure your balsa wood, which you can find in sheets at craft or art supply stores, and trim it to size with an Xacto knife (the wood is very soft and easy to cut through). Then comes the fun part: You get out your hot glue gun and glue the compartments in place! I managed to complete all of these steps, beginning to end, in under two hours.

If you’d like to try your hand at making the sewing box, download the instructions here! And if you’d like to see more projects from the book, click here.

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!

Announcing the SSSQ Quilt-Along with Kaffe Fassett


To celebrate the publication of Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts, Kaffe and co-author Liza Prior Lucy embarked on a U.S. book tour (details here) to great success! Now they are embarking on a virtual tour, and visiting us monthly for an exciting event! Announcing...


The SSSQ Quilt-Along with Kaffe Fassett! 

What exactly is a quilt-along, you ask?  It's an online quilting bee. Take part in a modern spin on this age-old tradition by joining the SSSQ Quilt-Along with Kaffe Fassett Facebook group and connect with fellow quilters in locations near and far, all while piecing together your own project from beginning to end.

Along the way, share photos of your work for a chance to get direct feedback from Kaffe and Liza.  You might even be the lucky winner of our SSSQ Quilt-Along with Kaffe Fassett Giveaway.

Quilters of all levels are invited.  Creativity is all that's required. 

For Quilt-Along details, plus a free pattern from Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts, click 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.

Knitting for Peace/Project Linus Blanket


It's always pleasing to see projects people have made from the books we publish at STC Craft. The blanket here from Oiyi's Crafts caught my eye yesterday. It's the Project Linus Security Blanket. This blogger got the pattern from our book Knitting for Peace by Betty Christiansen, but it also appears here (on the Project Linus website). If you don't already know, Project Linus is a wonderful organization that distributes handknitted blankets to critically ill and traumatized children. The pattern is basically three rows repeated over and over--and two of them are either all knit or all purl. (It doesn't get much easier than that.)

The sweater in the photo--called the Quickie ("5-Hour") Baby Sweater--comes from The Fiber Gypsy. The pattern is free but each person who uses it is asked to make at least one sweater for charity (a good deal all around).

My Weekend with Hannah I

Earlier in the fall STC Craft published Knitspeak by Andrea Berman Price.




Sarah Von Dreele designed the book as well as a magnet to give away at book signings and other promotional events.


On Saturday night Hannah and I used the magnet artwork to make a T-shirt. 


(If you want to make a T-shirt like this one, go to the craft- or office-supply store and buy iron-on transfer paper (pick up a T-shirt while you're out if you don't already have one), then download this file, then follow the instructions that came with your transfer paper to iron the artwork onto the T-shirt.)


Then I taught Hannah to knit. (She's definitely a natural.)