Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Royal Reveal !!

Drum-roll please! 
Every fairy tale world has royal characters , and "Yarn Whirled" tm  is no exception! In England today, royal watchers eagerly welcomed The Royal Ascot Races 2017 as a chance to catch a glimpse of  the  British royal family in all of their festive finery. On this side of the pond, today marks the exciting launch of the newest book in my YarnWhirled series:


From Queen Elizabeth attired in an ermine trimmed cape at her coronation, and garbed in a bright coordinating hat and suit ensemble at her 90th birthday,  to the adorable Prince William and Princess Charlotte, there is a character for every book collector, anglophile, and crafter!

 Ascot wear abounds...

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
As do medals and crowns!

These fun to make characters are made using my proprietary yarn craft "yarn whirled".
No needle-craft skill is required.   The book has simple to follow step by step photos and directions, so that any crafter can make their own royal characters, using nothing except yarn, and simple wrapping techniques!  Yarn Whirled: The Royal Family also includes a bonus section with patterns for some simple to crochet hats and accessories.

Queen Elizabeth and her Grandchildren

I am truly delighted that Yarn Whirled: The Royal Family is now available at Amazon, Dover Publishing, Barnes and Noble, and many other fine booksellers and craft stores! Please visit at yarnwhirled.com
 for upcoming updates, events, techniques and video!
Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex
Creating the characters for this book was a wonderful journey.  It always amazes me that yarn can be transformed into so many incredible things, from the most beautiful and intricate sweaters, to enchanting characters. 
 And, I have to confess that besides the yarn craft, which I always find to be relaxing, I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research for this book ! Fabulous blogs like the Royals Round- Up at GoFugYourself.com  and the orderofsplendor.blogspot.com
provided me with copious amount of information and inspiration, as well as hours of endless entertainment. I hope that you will enjoy making these regal characters as much as I have!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Off to See the Wizard! *Or- the payoff in procrastination...

The Wizard is Here!!!

Yes, the "Wizard " is Here!

 I am really excited that my second amigurumi  book* " Crochet Stories: L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" will be coming out tomorrow, May 17, 2017! The book is part of Dover Publishing's  fantastic Crochet  Story series.  Each book contains the text for the original story, as well as many easy -to- follow crochet patterns for adorable crocheted figurines. Among my favorites are the Winged Monkey, Glinda the Good Witch, and the Yellow Brick Road. This book would be a great present for any "Wizard" fan, as well as for any crocheter.  The amigurumi patterns are a great way to use up stash , or small amounts of yarn, and the figures are so much fun to create.

You can purchase this fun book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, Dover Publishing, among other sellers. And- spoiler- If you have never read the book, you may be interested to find out that Dorothy's slippers are SILVER, not ruby! Apparently the silver slippers didn't show up on camera, due to the technology that was in use at the time the movie was created, so the decision was made to put ruby slippers on Judy Garland!
The charming photographs are the work of Charles Young, who is an extremely gifted, and patient, photographer. 

 *Yes, this is my second amigurumi book. Some time in between "Yarn Whirled- Fairy tales, Fables , and Folklore", and "Crochet Stories: L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz",  the publication date for "Crocheted Stories: Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland"(published by Dover Publishing) snuck up and arrived with little fanfare on this blog.
Also, this book has a pattern for a Dodo bird and a crocheted tea set!

However, for my Alice in Wonderland amigurumi fans, the bonus is that you will not have a long wait before the publication of my next book.  In fact, it is coming out tomorrow : ) Silver linings!

Crochet Stories: Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland - See more at: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486807347.html#sthash.H0ged7VP.dpuf
Crochet Stories: Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland - See more at: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486807347.html#sthash.H0ged7VP.dpuf
Crochet Stories: Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland - See more at: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486807347.html#sthash.H0ged7VP.dpuf
Crochet Stories: Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland - See more at: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486807347.html#sthash.H0ged7VP.dpuf
You can purchase this fun book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,and  Dover Publishing, along with other sellers.
I had so  much fun crafting crocheted figures.  It was a departure from my more time consuming sweater designs, and it was so enjoyable.  I hope you will find these books to be equally entertaining!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Wonderful New Yarn Adventure

I am really excited to show you my newest yarn adventure, and my second blog home: Yarn Whirled....

Yarn Whirled is a new craft I devised last year, and I really think that knitters, crocheters, or any crafter with a stash of yarn, will enjoy making these adorable figures as much as I did.
My new book "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore" is coming out on Tuesday Novemnber 16, 2016.

Petrosinella/ Rapunzel for "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore".

And, as you can imagine, I look forward to knitting and crocheting some great outfits for these cute characters.

Princess Kaguya from "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore"

They are made completely out of yarn, and are really sturdy and firm, and are great for using up stash and novelty yarns.

The Snowman from "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore"

 I hope you will share my enthusiasm for this great craft.   My book is available on the Dover Publishing website, and at Amazon.com, as well as at numerous other book sellers and craft stores.

Please visit me over at YarnWhirled.blogspot.com, and at YarnWhirled on Pinterest and Facebook, for more exciting updates and videos.
I can't wait to hear your comments, and see your creations!
All my Best!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Giveaway, Vogue Knitting Live, and Sweaters!

                 My Bohus Inspired Cardigan from Vogue Knitting Winter 2016            Cascade Venezia Yarn       (photo copyright @Soho Publishing )

Yes, I know the title sounds like something from a random word generator! But, less blogging means more knitting : )

I am so honored to have been chosen to teach at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC in January 2016. VKLIVE is the premier knitting event in the country, with attendees, vendors and teachers from all over the world.  Teachers and authors who I have admired for years will be in attendance and I can hardly wait.  I will be teaching 3 classes- Stitch Gymnastics ( which is sold out), Irish Crochet Today, and Join the Club- a lively, interactive class about how to join various types, and twists of yarn, for fast and fabulous finishing. And, that brings me to the giveaway!!!


I have been given a ticket  from the event coordinators for 3 free days entrance to the incomparable VKLIVE MARKETPLACE! ( VKLIVE Facebook and Instagram )

To enter, just write your e-mail address in the space to the right for e-mails, or write your e-mail in the comment section below. And, if you want to become a follower on this site, that would be awesome, too! You will only receive an e-mail from me if you are the lucky winner. I will be picking the winner at random on December 26th.  Good luck!
Beaded pullover VK HOLIDAY 2016

 And now, to squeeze in some other pieces...
Above is my beaded pullover (#03 Fair Isle Yoke Pullover) from VK Holiday 2016.


 The pullover is knit in the round in  Plymouth Yarn Arequipa Worsted.  The yarn was soft and pretty and I sewed the beads on later, so that they would not interfere with the stretch of the sweater.

 Details Bohus Cardigan VK WINTER 2016

 The Bohus style is one I have always admired.  My modern interpretation has elements of the Bohus cardigans of the past, but I chose to concentrate the color-work on the sleeves.  The color-work has the textured purl stitches of the original beautiful Swedish sweaters, interspersed among the stockinette rounds.  The yarn (Cascade Yarns Venezia/ 70%Merino Wool-30% Silk) was scrumptious to work with- smooth and slightly glossy because of the silk, and perfectly elastic because of the merino. It is one of my very favorite yarns and my goal is to try to complete an iteration of my Bohus cardigan in Venezia to wear to teach at VKLIVE in January. Yes, I will be knitting, not blogging for the next few weeks : )

And lastly,
 2 great gift ideas- simple afghans in very current squares- one knitted, one crocheted.


  I honestly think I made each afghan in less than a week.  I deliberately designed them so that the edges would be perfect for  simple and smooth seaming together.


Even I was surprised at how quickly the afghans came together.  Naturally, because they  are constructed from half square triangles, the squares could be rearranged in any fashion to create a variety of patterns.
I hope you are all enjoying the warmer than usual temperatures, and finding the holiday season relaxing and joyous.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My First Book!

I am so very excited to announce the arrival of my first book- Month by Month Dishcloths!

Mixed Media Resources/Soho Publishing

 I am equally embarrassed to confess that it was published last August(2014), and that it has taken me this long to post its arrival on my blog, and on Ravelry ...


 These are 2 of my favorites.  I think they would make a great wedding shower gift, or great wedding favors!

But, happily, the delay is not because I have a  been world class procrastinator, but more because I have been so busy with other book and magazine projects.


When I was approached with the request to design a  booklet of 24 crocheted dishcloths,  I was  both thrilled- and surprised.  Up until  to that point in my design career, I had mostly submitted complex and difficult patterns- usually knit with relatively fine needles.


 Designing with bulkier yarn, and in crochet was a new venture for me, and I am delighted to say it was wonderful.  I loved the instant gratification of a small project, and the relaxing process of working a simpler design.

It was quite a shock to walk into my local Joann Fabric and Craft  store and see my booklet on the shelves! I was also really excited to see that it is now for sale on a number of great yarn and craft websites.


It is such relief to have had the time today to blog about this book! Next post,  I hope to catch up to some of the other fun projects that have kept me away from the computer: )
And I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to Trisha Malcolm, Alexandra Joinnides and Vanessa Putt, for giving me this opportunity, and for being understanding when I kept calling asking for "just a little more time, please"... and to Jack Deutsch whose great photos made the simple, sublime.


But, of course, I am  most grateful for the readers who have made it down to the end of this post. Yes, it is now fall, and my last post was in February.  Thank you!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sweater Weather or 3 things to make on a cold evening....

Snow days and knitting projects are a perfect combination! This has a been the perfect winter to hunker down where it is warm and dry, and to make serious headway on a variety of projects.

The KNIT. Sweater above is a sweater I designed and knit for the incomparable VOGUE Knitting Live Show which was held in NYC in January, and will be in Pasadena, Ca. soon. It is a simple knit and a snuggly sweater.  The pattern is available for FREE on the Vogue Knitting website. This is the link- KNIT.SWEATER.  Let me know if you make one- I love pictures.  I have already seen some wonderfully creative variations, including one on Ravelry by Peg Starbuck.

And, if the idea of a knitting a big winter sweater seems daunting, then I have another great option for the timid or time challenged!
 I was also asked to design mini sweaters for a garland to raise awareness for SAVE THE CHILDREN.  December 2014 was designated as "Make the World Better with a Sweater" month, and December 12th was "Sweater" day.  The pattern for these addicting little sweaters is also free on the VK website! I have been amazed by the cute sweaters I have seen on Ravelry pages.  I have a feeling that there will be a number of homes decorated with knit garlands next year!

Finally, if you are not motivated to make a big sweater, or  even many little sweaters,  a phone sweater may be your perfect option! This pattern is also part of the Save the Children Campaign, and once again, the pattern is free.
 I was very happy to have been asked to be part of something so exciting.  I have been so busy recently with so many projects, that I have been unable to post as regularly as I would like.  In fact, when I looked at the designs I planned to write about, I came across these patterns and decided to post these instead. 
These cold winter nights are made for relaxing projects, and hopefully someone will enjoy making one of these!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Not really work...

 I am really  delighted to share these pictures of  the  Open Front Cardigan sweater I designed and knit for the Early Fall 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine.

VOGUE Knitting Early Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for LVARepresents.com
  I think this often, but I really mean it this time when I say that I want to make this sweater for myself. And, the great styling makes it look so refined.   I love this picture.
 The cardigan  was easier  to make than it looks, mostly stockinette with some simple eyelet rows. 

VOGUE Knitting Early Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for LVARepresents.com
 The lace inset is not difficult at all- just a little bit more concentration required  : )
I opted for a folded over hem, as it is one of my favorite finishes, and gives weight to the light weight cardigan.  Again- simple- just a few extra stockinette rows, and a "purl on the right side " turning row. The soft color of the Manos del Uruguay Serena yarn  is sublime .
The sweater and some other lovely pieces can be found in the Early Fall issue of Vogue Knitting 2014.

Now to my title.  I came across this quote by J.M. Barrie- of Peter Pan fame. "Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else."
Put any thread and implement(needle, hook, embroidery needle, tatting shuttle...) in front of me, and there is not much else I would rather do. 
 But, lately the days have been rolling into each other as I have been fortunate enough to have been given a number of contracts.
 I have been staring at a post-it with "UPDATE THIS BLOG" for ages.  Long enough that I have sweaters from the Fall 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting to add to this post!

VOGUE Knitting Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for LVARepresents.com   
This is another favorite of mine.  I have wanted to make a blouse-like sweater for a while.  I love folkloric pieces, and the raglan shaping and inset openwork helps mimic the peasants tops that were my inspiration.  The inset is not tricky and the embroidery is very basic- straight stitches, knots and lazy daisy stitches.

VOGUE Knitting Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for LVARepresents.com
I have a second sweater in the same issue.  This, chosen by my editor right from the runway design was designed to showcase Rowan Tumble yarn, a wonderful chunky wool to work with.  The sweater has the cozy feel of a grandfather cardigan, and works up so quickly.  That is a pleasure, too.

VOGUE Knitting Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for LVARepresents.com  
Both sweaters are in this current issue of Vogue Knitting.
 Yes, I have to admit, the back log of other pieces, and the fear that another issue would be coming out soon compelled me to post today. 
 And, if you have had the patience to read down this far,  hopefully you won't mind if I show you one more picture....

@Sixth and Spring Books

 The mittens are from a wonderful book,  60 Quick Luxury Knits.

  I love the Cascade Venezia yarn .  It is a perfect blend of wool and silk.  And the colors are scrumptious!
 On the other hand, even though it is keeping me so very busy,  there isn't much that I would rather be doing!