SMP Craft
19 Dec

Freebie Friday: Cobweb Shawl Knitted with Shetland Lace

Greetings from sunny Arizona! I’ve returned to my home state for the holidays, where it’s a couple dozen degrees warmer than NYC (not that I’m trying to rub it in!). Needless to say, my puffy winter coat and I are taking a much-needed “break.” But what am I to wear to protect myself from this chilly air-conditioning? (Okay, maybe now I’m rubbing it in, a little.)

The answer, of course, is something lovely, delicate, and handmade–like this gorgeous cobweb shawl knitted with Shetland Lace. shawl 2 shawl 1It’s our FREE PROJECT this week from Elizabeth Lovick’s The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting: Stitches, Techniques, and Projects for Lighter-than-Air Shawls & More. This book is a useful guide aimed at helping all you knitters take your first steps in making a Shetland lace project. Included are all the traditional Shetland motifs, patterns, and insertions including Cat’s Paw, Candlelight, Horse Shoe, and many more, plus suggestions for how to work the different stitches into elegant and traditional Shetland lace accessories such as scarves, hats, and shawls. Atmospheric photographs taken in the wild Scottish landscape and historical information about the development of Shetland lace are an added bonus!

If you attempt this shawl, we’d love to see it. Share your work in the comments, or pin in to your Pinterest board and tag us @SMPCraft.

Order your own copy of The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting today!

shetland lace knitting

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Tagged with: books, DIY, free project, knitting, shawl, Shetland lace
12 Dec

Freebie Friday: Macrame Nordic Snowflake Coasters and Striped Hotpad

Protect Thy… Tabletops! During this particularly social time for many people, when holiday parties are simply par for the course, whether you’re throwing a cocktail or dinner party or attending one or all of the above, we have a FREE PROJECT DOWNLOAD for the ultimate handmade gift to give yourself or to the host(ess): Stylish, functional, Nordic snowflake coasters and a striped kitchen hotpad–made by using the craft of knotting, also known as macrame.

Nordic Coaster Striped Hotpad

These projects are from Macrame Pattern Book by Marchen Art Studio, a creative group that supervises Marchen-Art Company in Japan, which designs leather and hemp cords accessory parts, and other craft items. This dream of a book (especially for a knotter like myself who finds the repetition cathartic) is an outstanding resource for both new and experienced knotters and includes over 70 knots and small repeat patterns plus 33 projects–ranging from simple jewelry pieces and accessories to more complicated projects such as net bags and ornate baskets.

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So this holiday party season: To Knot or Knot to Knot? That… beloved Crafters, is the question!

Order your copy of Macrame Pattern Book now!

MacramePatternBook

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Tagged with: coasters, hotpad, how to, macrame, nordicstyle, snowflakes, trivet
5 Dec

Freebie Friday: Braid Cable Socks

There has been snow. Thanksgiving leftovers are gone. The Rockefeller Tree is lit. As *NSync would say, I guess it’s Christmas time. Inevitably, along with the expected cheer and good tidings, a bit of gift anxiety usually follows. I always plan on saving money from October and November to put toward the gift fund in December, but things always come up. Like unplanned trips, concerts, and Seamless. But this year Isela Phelps has me covered. In her book, Loom Knitting Socks I found easy-to-follow instructions as well as helpful photos and diagrams. There’s even a Socks 101 section for those of us entering unknown territory. Because of Isela’s excellent tips and guidance, today’s FREE PROJECT is for all sock makers—no matter the experience level.

cable sock These braid cable socks will be perfect for the cold weather months ahead. Choose a plain yarn for the cable to show best. Although these deep red socks look magnificent, it wouldn’t surprise me if my loved ones received a pair in every shade of the rainbow.  As the wise Albus Dumbledore once said, “One can never have enough socks.” Well said, sir.

Along with the braid cable socks you’ll find other thick socks perfect for winter (some even with snowflakes) and even breathable socks perfect for playing sports. Altogether there are fifty projects in Loom Knitting Socks—and none require a needle! Once you’ve learned the loom basics and a sock’s knitted anatomy check out one of seven sock sections (say that 5 times fast): Simple Socks, Textured Socks, Colorwork Socks, Fancy Cables and Beads Socks, Lace Socks, Kids Socks, and even Footsies—describing other foot coverings that can be used for pedicures and yoga class.

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Come back on Sunday to learn how you can enter to win a copy of Loom Knitting Socks this week!

loom knitting socks coverBuy your copy today!

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New in December & January!

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Tagged with: books, Crafts, free, free project, gift ideas, knitting, Loom Knitting, smpcraft, socks, winter
4 Dec

Project of the Month: Lace Crochet Motifs

Can you believe it’s already time for a brand-new Project of the Month? Seems like just yesterday I was building my Cookie “Jewelry” Box and eating all the candy before I had a chance to store them. I’ve eaten a lot of cookies since then, though–at least a month’s worth. But I could’ve done that in a couple of days.

No sweets this time, but I have a different kind of treat for you: three projects in one! Four, if you count the cool project you can put together by combining them. And I’m aaall about rounding up! (And rounded hexagons.) Especially when it comes to free projects.

Rounded Hexagon

Six-pointed Star

Rounded Blossom

This PROJECT OF THE MONTH comes from 75 Lace Crochet Motifs: Traditional Designs with a Contemporary Twist, for Clothing, Accessories, and Homeware, the latest in the Knit & Crochet series by Caitlin Sainio. You’re getting three unique motif designs in one two-page spread. How holiday spirity is that? Plus, with all the holiday parties coming up, you may find that these cute little motifs make excellent emergency coasters, too. Or, by stitching them together, you can make delightful doilies to please your high-minded guests (and/or impress your in-laws). Behold!

75 Lace Crochet Motifs Projects-2

Now that’s what I call A+ crafting. Happy crocheting!

Pre-order 75 Lace Crochet Motifs at your favorite bookseller (on sale 12/30)!

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New in December & January!

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Tagged with: books, Crafts, crochet, free project, lace crochet
21 Nov

Freebie Friday: Sunflower Square Crochet Block

This morning, I watched this bird walk back and forth on my kitchen window sill. Walk a few steps. Stop for a few seconds. Walk back to the original spot. Then finally take off.

BirdSill

That’s how I’m feeling right about now: Almost free. I’m headed to southern California this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving and my mother’s 75th birthday with my family–fleeing the biting New York City cold to bask in glorious warmth and sunshine for a week. But I still have to get through the pre-flight dance, which is essentially getting through a daunting to do list before I can take off. I wish I could say I could get through everything and catch up on sleep during the flight. But I don’t sleep well on planes. So I’ll be doing one of my to-dos on the plane. Now that TSA removed crochet hooks from its prohibited list of carry-on items, I’m going to crochet Sunflower Squares to accessorize the Thanksgiving table.

The Sunflower Square pattern is from 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet: Beautiful patterns to mix and match for afghans, throws, baby blankets, and more by Betty Barnden, a collection of 75 triangular, square, diamond-shaped, hexagonal, and circular blocks, all with a floral theme. The book also includes written patterns and color charts, useful techniques, and creative projects.

Crochet 1-2-3 remarks: “You will quickly be creating a beautiful project, whether a basic afghan or a fabulous scarf…This is a book that any crocheter will want.” And for the daily commute or long flight like I’m about to take, the blocks are perfect for crafters “on-the-go.”

Want to try this pattern out, too? It’s Level: EASY. CLICK the image below or here to DOWNLOAD it for FREE. Start crocheting now!

SunflowerimageSunflowers not your cup o’ tea? How about Daffodils? Buttercups? Roses? These and many other varieties are in 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet, which is available at your favorite bookseller.

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Check out our newest November title!

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Author of the Month

This month we sit down with Helen Angharad Henley, mother of three, handbag designer, self-proclaimed “compulsive maker,” and author of newly published Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 quick and easy bags to make for all occasions. Helen lives and works in Wales where she designs, makes, and sells her sewing patterns and handbags. She blogs her stitching endeavours at angharadhandmade.blogspot.com and sells her bags online at angharad handmade.

Helen  Angharad Henley, author of Tote-ally Amazing Bags

Cookie Jewelry Box


They say there are two types of women in the world: those who love jewelry, and those who love cookies. What? You say you're both types of woman? Well then I sure have a treat for you, with this free pattern from our new book 50 Deliciously Decorative Cookies: Easy-t0-Make Cookie Creations by Fiona Pearce, you can have your jewelry box and eat it, too!

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