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

Barnes & Noble

New in December & January!


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

socks2 socks socks3 socks4 socks5 socks6

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!

Barnes & Noble

New in December & January!



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

Knitting and Gilmore Girls by Kelsey Albertson

This week’s SMP Craft guest blogger is prolific knitter, Kelsey Albertson, who works in Macmillan’s Premium and Corporate Sales department.

You know those weeks that just make you shout “Oy with the poodles already!”? We all have them, and they are not fun. My favorite way to deal with these weeks is both lazy and productive.  Gilmore Girls marathon and knitting.

gilmoreknittingLorelai Gilmore is my hero, and listening to her sage advice (she is who taught me not to throw my life away for a guy unless he has a motorcycle, after all) while mindlessly knitting a scarf or two, is the single most comforting way to spend a day.

gilmoreknitting2I know that when most people marathon a tv show, they stick with the prescribed order of watching, but that is not the Gilmore way. I decided to skip season 1 entirely, since I’ve seen that the most, and jumped around between seasons 2, 4, and 5.  This is so much easier to do now that I don’t have to fumble with the DVDs and can just jump around on Netflix.   Once I had everything set up, I grabbed my yarn and my giant knitting needles (I like to use a size 15), and set to work. 6 cups of coffee, 4 episodes, and 2 skeins of yarn later, I had a couple of scarves ready to go.

BooksandYarn2Cheers to the perfect, absent-minded, zombie crafting afternoon.

New in December & January!


Tagged with: Crafts, Gilmore Girls, Knitters, knitting, Movie Marathon
29 Oct

SMP Crafternoon: Learn it. Make it. Donate it.

Good times for a good cause happening at SMP Craft!

Two weeks ago, we sent an email to our fellow Macmillan employees with a November challenge: Crochet/knit a hat or scarf by December 1st to donate to two local women’s shelters: Women in Need, Inc. and The Salvation Army’s Women’s Residence. The response to our first Crafternoon call to action was off the charts! Group

Lyon Brand Yarn donated a load of supplies — skeins of yarn, knitting needles, and crochet hooks.


Adriana3Felecia3St. Martin’s Press Production Manager, Adriana Coada, and seasoned knitter and teacher, Felecia O’Connell, lead us through basic crochet and knit techniques using patterns from Erika Knight’s two absolutely essential books if you’re a knitter or crocheter, Simple Knitting and Simple Crocheting.



Erin and Kara




LadiesontheLeft_sittingAnd LOOK! We already have our first finished knit hat from one of the participants! She’s considering taking it back and accessorizing it with a flower. So fancy!!!


Click on the descriptions for instructions and FREE PATTERN DOWNLOADS. As ever, comment here or email us with any questions you may have.



  • Scarf Pattern (the dishcloth pattern makes a scarf by simply adding extra rows)

Stay tuned. We’ll be doing regular updates on our progress!

Check out our October and November titles!

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Tagged with: donation, how to crochet, how to knit, shelter, women in need
26 Oct

Goodreads Giveaway: 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas

Last Friday we offered you a free project download but teased you a touch with images of other projects from 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet: Stash Your Sharps in Something Cute and Handmade by Cat Thomas. Now here’s your chance to have a go at all 50 projects and win a finished copy of the entire book!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas

50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet

by Cat Thomas

Giveaway ends October 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Whatever your skill level, and whether the project is intended for yourself or as a gift for a fellow crafter, 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet offers something for everyone. Each pattern comes with:

  • A Key that denotes the level of difficulty
  • Beautiful color photographs of the finished pieces to show you what you should be aiming for
  • Clear instructions for assembling
  • Supplemental charts for clarity

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Cat Thomas is a trained textile artist who has taught art and design for most of her career. She now designs, selling under the name of “Baban Cat” on sites such as Etsy and Folksy. Check out more about Cat Thomas on her blog.

Remember to enter the giveaway before you click off and if you simply can’t stand to wait–order the book now at your favorite retailer below!

Barnes & Noble

Check out our October and November titles!

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Tagged with: Crafts, giveaway, goodreads giveaway, how to crochet, how to knit, pincushions, sweepstakes

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 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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