SMP Craft
22 Oct

How-To Tuesday: Thanksgiving Craft Idea – A Thanksgiving Tree!

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is spending time with my family – especially my little sister, Hannah, who is crazy about crafts (and turkey).  Throughout the year, it’s easy to get bogged down by stress and negativity, but when the holidays come around my family has this tradition: we sit down as a family and talk about everything we’re thankful for. They can be little things, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and peppermint tea and a shelf full of new books, or (much) bigger things, like a solid education, great health, and a close-knit, supportive family. And even though tradition dictates that we go around the table and allow everyone to share something, too often we lose the plot a bit when the stuffing comes out of the kitchen…

So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across this crafty way to visualize everything we’re thankful for!
Thanksgiving Tree of Gratitude from One More Moore blog

Thanksgiving Tree from One More Moore Blog

Thanksgiving Tree from One More Moore Blog

Christmas doesn’t have to be the only holiday that showcases a tree!  I’m definitely going to try this one at home this year…

– Courtney

18 Oct

Fall Crafts: Free Scarf Pattern from “Scarves, Shrugs, & Shawls”

In case you hadn’t noticed… it’s well and truly Fall out there!  And if you, like me, live in a part of the country where Fall means chilly winds and a change of wardrobe, then you probably can’t get through a season without the perfect (or several perfect) scarves.  Well, have I got the book (and the free project) for you!

scarves shrugs and shawls

Amazon
BarnesandNoble
IndieBound
PowellsBooks
Books-A-Million
Overstock

Download this free pattern from “Scarves, Shrugs, & Shawls” and try your hand at knitting your own signature scarf… or shrug… or throw… for the season.  Or order a copy of the book and fill your closet (or surprise all your friends) with fun & funky cold-weather wear: capes, shrugs, wraps, stoles, scarves, vests… and list goes on! “Scarves, Shrugs, & Shawls” has enough projects to keep you warm and fashionable all Fall long.

Free Knitting Project Download: MULTI-WAY STOLE

multi-way stole

16 Oct

Author of the Month Q&A with Knitter Martin Storey

Without a doubt, Martin Storey is a rockstar in the world of knitting.  Author of “Aran Knits”, “Nordic Knits” and the co-author of “Knitting Goes Large”, Martin is renowned for his truly elegant knitwear designs.  He worked for the trendsetting company Artwork after college and since then has been a major force at Rowan Yarns, designing for their classic range.

This month, his newest book – “Little Aran & Celtic Knits for Kids” – hits bookstores.  Chock-full of gorgeous patterns for baby and toddler outfits, every page is guaranteed to make a knitter drool into her basket of yarn.

Martin lives & works in the United Kingdom, but took some time out of his day to answer our questions!

Q&A WITH MARTIN STOREY

Martin Storey - master knitwear designer (of Rowan Yarn fame)

Martin Storey – master knitwear designer (of Rowan Yarn fame)

SMPCraft: How did you first come to knitting?
Martin Story: I was taught to knit at a very early age by my infant teacher, Mrs Cross.  She felt it was important that both boys and girls learnt the basics of knitting, sewing and cooking.  I still remember the plastic pink and yellow needles we knitted with!

SMPC: What aspects do you love most & least about the process of designing knitwear?
MS: I would always say that I love the whole design process in creating a new handknit.  I relish all the research and the forming of ideas for my designs.  The bit I struggle with is the technical side.  Even though I can write a very good handknit pattern, the maths do not come naturally…!

SMPC: What led you to start designing knitting projects rather than just knitting them?
MS: I started to think of a knitting as a career whilst in my final year at Middlesex University, where I was studying for a BA Hons Degree in Fashion [1984].  I designed a range of handknits for my degree show and as a result I was offered a design assistant’s job with Artwork – a leading handknit design company in the 1980’s and 90’s.

SMPC: Are you inspired more by color or by yarn type?
MS: I’m inspired more by a combination of, colour, yarn type and fashion.  I suppose I start by looking at what’s happening in the world of knitted fashion then apply the yarn and colour later.  It’s my fashion training that always kicks-in first!

SMPC: How do you start when you’re designing something new?
MS: Definitely with a sketch or some old knit fabric that I might have picked up in a vintage shop or from magazines, books, photo’s.  I then go on to develop my ideas in swatch form.  I work very visually so it’s important for me to have lots and lots of visual reference..

SMPC: You’ve probably seen it all when it comes to knitting – in your own wardrobe, what’s your favorite item of knitwear?
MS: My favourite piece has to be a Patricia Roberts grapes and cherries slipover [Fruit Machine].  I spent the whole of summer 1980 knitting this garment.  It was my very first complicated knit.  Not only did it teach me a great deal about the intricacies of knitting but also helped to gain me a place at Art School.

SMPC: What do you do when you’re not knitting?
MS: When I’m not knitting then I enjoy walking along the beautiful Devon, Exmoor coast or trawling through local vintage and antique shops followed by a relaxing coffee in one of our lovely, high street delis.

SMPC: Do you do any other types of crafts?
MS: I sew [very badly] and enjoy simple embroidery projects.  I have tried and failed to master crochet and cross stitch…!  Also, being very greedy! I love to cook but not sure if this is necessarily classed as a ‘craft’…

SMPC: What is the one tool you can’t live without?
MS: I really could not live without my Knitpro needles – particularly  their symphonie wooden needles.  They are a joy to knit with

SMPC: Do you have a favorite project in your new book?
MS: One of my favourite projects is a very cute, bird design – Lotte cardigan.  I really love designing ‘quirky’ colourwork ideas.  There is also a Lotte scarf to go with this design.

SMPC: What is your connection to Rowan Yarns? 
MS: I have been working now with Rowan yarns for over twenty years.  Ten of those years as a freelance designer, contributing designs to the Rowan Magazines.  The past twelve years I have been working as one of their full-time design consultants, designing my own range of brochures as well as contributing to the magazine.

SMPC: How do you go about developing a book – and to what degree do you get involved with the book design & photography?
MS: I’m constantly coming up with new book ideas.  For St Martin’s presentation purposes, I then go on to creating mood boards, sketches and swatches for each book idea.  I don’t normally get involved with the book design but I do attend the photo shoots.  I’m very particular about how the knit is worn and presented on the model.

SMPC: What’s the next thing on your plate that you’re excited about?
MS: Hopefully more books!  I have a few ideas in the pipeline.  Also, I’m developing two exciting, new yarn brochures for Rowan which will be launched in June 2014.

 little aran & celtic knits for kids

Little Aran & Celtic Knits for Kids

Rowan Yarn’s master knitwear designer Martin Storey shares twenty-five beautiful patterns for babies and toddlers

Featuring soft colors, a mixture of traditional Aran patterns, touches of intarsia colorwork, and sweet knitting pattern motifs that both children and parents will love, the projects in this book will make the perfect addition to your little one’s wardrobe or room decor. Traditional cabled and Celtic patterns, plus rabbits, cats, anchors, hearts, and birds adorn a wide range of garments and accessories from cardigans, sweaters, dresses, and skirts, to blankets, scarves, socks, and gloves.

The designs in the book range from simple to challenging—so there’s something for every knitter to enjoy. The twenty-five adorable designs in this book are sure to become special keepsake handknits that will be treasured for years to come.

To purchase a copy, click on your favorite retailer from the list below:
Amazon

BarnesandNoble

IndieBound

PowellsBooks

Books-A-Million

Walmart

Overstock

 

15 Oct

How-To Tuesday: Recycled Sweater Craft DIY Pillow Project

Pretty much every fall – anticipating an absolutely freezing, terrifying long NYC winter – I pull out my favorite sweaters from the previous season and survey them with dismay and despair.  Why is it that only my favorite sweaters are the ones that get stained, stretched and pill-y?  And why is it that only the itchy, too-hot, boring ones stay perfect forever?

Here’s a BRILLIANT idea for how to recycle that favorite, super cozy, old sweater than just happens to have a hole in the elbow, or a stain across the chest… PILLOW COVERS!  Take an old pillow and cut your sweater in a rectangle large enough to fit around the pillow (or two smaller squares/rectangles).  Sew your new pillow cover around the old pillow OR use buttons to add a flap so you can remove & wash your sweater pillow cover.

Sweater Pillow by Jessica Lewis (Flickr: J*Lewis)

Sweater Pillow by Jessica Lewis (Flickr: J*Lewis)

This project (photo by JessLewisPhotography.com) seems so easy and so great for getting cozy on the couch with your favorite craft project or book during the long, cold winter.  I know exactly what sweater I’ll use and I’ll stop back in a few days and show you how mine turned out!

I got the idea from this overwhelmingly long list of recycled sweater craft ideas at Squidoo; I’m also interested in trying the felted sweater hearts, the chair cover and the super-easy mittens!  So many great ideas!

If you try this – or any of the other – recycled sweater projects, please share your photos with us on Twitter or Facebook!

– Sarah

27 Sep

FREEBIE FRIDAY: Free Knitting Pattern from MONSTER KNITS FOR LITTLE MONSTERS

I’m in love with MONSTER KNITS FOR LITTLE MONSTERS, the new book from Nuriya Khegay – this month’s Author of the Month at SMPCraft.  Cute babies.  Cute knitting patterns.  What’s not to love?  Try your hand at your own little monster knitting project with this adorable free pattern from the book.

Free Project Download – Darling Panda

darling panda

ABOUT MONSTER KNITS FOR LITTLE MONSTERS

An adorable collection of animal-themed hat and mitten sets for babies and toddlers from ages six months to three years, that kids will love and adults can’t help but fawn over. These cute coverall hats keep your child’s head, ears, and neck warm and toasty, and have a practical pullover design so that they can’t tug it off easily. Also included are knitting patterns for matching mitten “paws,” socks, and scarves. Featuring bears, owls, frogs, foxes, sharks, robots, dinosaurs, bunnies, and even Shrek-like ears, there are loads of delightful ways to dress up your child in charming creations that are quick and easy to knit.

Now available everywhere books are sold.

Now available everywhere books are sold.

The book is organized by the different kinds of creatures like Cuddly Critters, Feathered Friends, Huggable Horrors, Adorable Aliens, and Festive Friends, inspiring you to make hats for your children to dress up in all year round.

Each project contains step-by-step instructions, plus information for finishing touches to make your projects stand out. A knitting refresher course is given in the back of the book for complete beginners, covering tools, yarns, and all the techniques and stitches you’ll need to create the projects. And a Create Your Own Design section will inspire knitters to let their imagination run wild to create personalized accessories that their little monsters are sure to love and cherish.

Get yours from your fave local bookseller or click on any retailer link below:
Amazon
BarnesandNoble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
PowellsBooks
Walmart

 

CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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