SMP Craft
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.

YarnYarnHooks

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.

KnittingTeachFeleciaKnit

 

Erin and Kara

 

 

Ana_SimpleCrochetingCrocheting

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!!!

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

For KNITTING:

For CROCHETING:

  • 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!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

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
24 Oct

Freebie Friday: Pear Pincushion

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A well-known Italian seamstress once told me that Pincushions are a sewing necessity and that, “è vero, vero” It’s true true that one’s pincushion reflects one’s personality. I don’t think I want to know what it means about my personality that the “pincushion” in my sewing box is an old Whitesnake rock band patch I used to accessorize a Heavy Metal Halloween costume.

Whitesnake

Nonetheless, while combing through 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas, I couldn’t help but recall her comment; despite loving the absolutely adorable sushi, bear, and cactus pincushions pictured above, the moment my eyes landed on the Pear Pincushion, I knew I found my (dare I say it) PEAR-fect pincushion match. So for this week’s Free Pattern Download, I offer you Pear Pincushion, which is knitted in the round, uses worsted weight yarn and no seaming so it knits up quickly.

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I’ve decided that this pear pincushion is a Green Anjou, an all-purpose variety valued for its culinary versatility–from slicing fresh into salads to baking into tarts and pies to pureeing for sauces, beverages, and toppings. It’s the most abundant variety in the U.S., is almost always available, and most importantly, has a wonderful flavor profile: refreshing, sweet, juicy, with a hint of citrus!

It’s my friend’s birthday this weekend and I’ve decided to make her a “Pear-themed” present–pear pincushion, a few fresh pears, a pear tart, and pear juice!

If you’re not quite the pear connoisseur but say… have a thing for the circus, or want to make a pincushion for a cat-lover, or maybe love reindeer… and have been learning how to knit or crochet and want a finished handmade something something that you can complete in just a few hours, look no further than  50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet, which is available at your favorite online retailer.

50 Pincushions cover

 

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

 
 
 

Check out our October and November titles!

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Tagged with: Advice, anjou pear, Crafts, crochet, crocheting, d'anjou, how to crochet, knitting, pear, pincushions
4 Oct

Project of the Month: Little Monster

I’m a big fan of events that encourage you to hide behind a disguise and devour a ton of candy, so it goes without saying that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. We’re less than a month away now, and while you may be content to just throw on a big white cotton t-shirt again (“I’m the Fabric of Our Lives!”), don’t you think your kiddo deserves something a little more extravagant?

 Behold our PROJECT OF THE MONTH from Nuriya Khegay’s fun-packed Monster Knits for Little Monsters: 20 Super-Cute Animal-Themed Hat, Mitten, and Bootie Sets to Knit. Perfect for any rambunctious little dude or dudette, this frighteningly cute hat, mittens, and booties set will have the neighbors forkin’ over the treats in no time. All measurements are given for sizes 6-12 months, 12-24 months, and 2-3 years.

 

 

 

More about Monster Knits for Little Monsters:

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 designs 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. 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.

And guess what? We’ve got a BRAND-NEW collection of 20 MORE animal-themed knitted hat and mitten sets coming out in January! And that ain’t no trick–scout’s honor.
Monster Knits for Little Monsters More Monster Knits for Little Monsters

 Want more great projects like this one? Get your own copy of Monster Knits for Little Monsters:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

And for even more, you can preorder More Monster Knits for Little Monsters, too:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

Check out our October and November titles!

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Tagged with: books, Crafts, DIY, free project, how to books, knitting
28 Sep

Goodreads Giveaway: Simple Knitting by Erika Knight

On Friday we gave away a free knitted notebook project from Erika Knight’s Simple Knitting: A Complete How-to-Knit Workshop with 20 Projects. If you’ve completed that project and want more, well, you’re in good company. Luckily, we’re giving away twenty copies of Simple Knitting on Goodreads this week. But you’d better get clicking because the contest ends Thursday.


Acclaimed knitwear designer Erika Knight turns her attention to the novice knitter in Simple Knitting, a workshop-based book that teaches you how to knit by creating a beautiful collection of items. With each of the twenty projects you learn a new skill, and build upon the techniques learned with the proceeding project until you have mastered a wide repertoire of skills and amassed an enviable collection of gorgeous knitwear.

For example:

  • Master basic knit, purl stitches, and variations by creating a simple scarf, dishcloth, or notebook cover
  • Learn shaping and finishing techniques by knitting up a ribbed watch cap, fingerless mittens, or a pair of striped socks
  • Lastly, perfect your skills for fully fashioning garments while creating a simple V-neck sweater or a classic cardigan complete with handy pockets.

Erika explains all the essential information to successfully knit up these projects and also discusses broader design principles such as building a color palette, providing readers with a unique opportunity to learn design secrets from one of the world’s most highly-respected knitwear designers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Simple Knitting by Erika Knight

Simple Knitting

by Erika Knight

Giveaway ends October 02, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Don’t want to take any chances? Order your copy now!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new September and October titles:

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Tagged with: books, giveaway, Goodreads

Author of the Month

This month we sit down for a Q&A with Molly Goodall, artist, designer, creator of the unique children’s clothing brand, Little Goodall, and author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear. Originally from North Carolina, Molly earned her BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in 1997, where she became focused on children’s wear. She then worked as a toy designer in New York before deciding "it would be more fun to be an artist" and moved to North Texas, where she, her husband, and son currently live.


Molly Goodall, author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear

Project of the Month

Little Monster


Perfect for any rambunctious little dude or dudette, this frighteningly cute hat, mittens, and booties set will have the neighbors forkin’ over the treats in no time. All measurements are given for sizes 6-12 months, 12-24 months, and 2-3 years. From Nuriya Khegay’s fun-packed Monster Knits for Little Monsters: 20 Super-Cute Animal-Themed Hat, Mitten, and Bootie Sets to Knit.

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