Thursday, September 29, 2011

Better Know A Crafter: Chase Gray

Chase is an extraordinary knitter and is also one of our dearest friends. She has been inspiring us for years with epic projects. When we first met her she was knitting a pair of thigh-high black stockings with eyelet detailing and she is currently working on an intricately cabled afghan! We love her lacy kid mohair shawl and are honored to feature this sweet lady on our blog.

Chase Gray

Tell us about yourself and what makes you craft.
I am a nurse and I am dedicated to transforming healthcare in America. I spend my craft time mostly knitting and wet felting. For me there is serenity in creation.

Tell us about this beautiful lace shawl.
This is the Haruni knit lace shawl by Emily Ross. For those of you that are not familiar with Quenya (Tolkien’s elven language) Haruni means grandmother. A good friend had made this shawl and I was blown away with its intricate beauty and delicacy…but once I read about how Ms. Ross had come up with the name I was sold. The shawl was put together with Wagtail Mohair in Dark Olive. This was my first lace project and my recovery from lace will be few years as it induced tears and tear outs regularly.

When did you learn to knit? 
When I was preparing to go into the Peace Corps everything I read said I needed a hobby so I taught myself how to knit. I ended up in Central Asia for those two years and they do amazing felt work throughout the region. I was inspired to begin doing my own once I had returned home.

What is your favorite animal?
The one that shares its horns or antlers and hide with me.

Thanks Chase! Happy knitting and felting!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New LouLouThi Needleworks!

Anna Maria Horner's new Loulouthi Needleworks fabrics and embroidery supplies are here!

Anna Maria's needlework collection is gorgeously printed with colorful cross-stitch designs, and coordinates with her recently released LouLouThi collection. Hand-stitch over the designs for super handcraftiness, or just use this fabric as is for a modern folksy look!

We love the box sets of embroidery floss and perle cotton in palettes that coordinate with the entire LouLouThi line. Anna Maria, you are blowing our minds.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Magical Menagerie of Handknits

You may know that many of us over here at Fancy Tiger Crafts are obsessed with animals - especially those of the woodland variety. For this reason, there was a lot of squealing and sighing when we opened the box of patterns from Tiny Owl Knits. Stephanie Dosen is the mystical woman behind Tiny Owl Knits and we can't wait to knit up every one of her designs. From her "Fairy Castles" to her "Meow Mitts" to her "Fawn Poncho," all the Tiny Owl Knits patterns capture a special time of far-away-lands filled with unicorn breath and fairy dust.

Attracting a magical menagerie with our handknits
One of our favorite local crafters, Alicya Tebo, and I recently finished two of the TOK's patterns and we were so excited to wear them out for the first time. As soon as we donned our handknits and walked into the woods we were instantly surrounded by forest creatures. It was so magical!

Alicya's Deer Antler Hat
Alicya knit the Deer with Little Antlers hat and it is absolutely perfect! Deers were deluded by Alicya's deer hat and welcomed her as one of their own. We're really excited to see what happens when the glow-in-the-dark pink part of the ears lights up at night - just imagine what creature she will attract!

Jaime's Mr. Fox Stole
I made an adorable fox stole (this TOK pattern was published in Yarn Forward magazine and sadly we are not able to carry it at this time). Mr. Fox is brilliantly constructed to look like a real skinned fox stole. I have a secret love of taxidermy and fur, but am a vegetarian so it causes some issues for me. Mr. Fox is the perfect solution as it allows me to show off my love of dead animals and knitting! The forest foxes knew my stole was knit out of love and that no foxes were harmed in its making.

Mr. Fox in his natural habitat
Thanks Tiny Owl Knits for channeling the wonderful energy of the forest into your patterns. We can't wait to knit up some more!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Isager Spinni Lace Yarn!

Isager Spinni is a lace weight yarn for hardcore wool fans, which means we love it! This wonderfully sturdy wool is both delicate and strong, and will hold up beautifully to lots of wear. Isager is a Danish wool and is much like the Icelandic Lopi yarn which Jaime and I brought back from Iceland and have been knitting up into beautiful shawls.

This yarn gets the award for our favorite palette of woolly colors ever! We fell hard for this Danish wool and ordered it in every hue. Many of the colors are over-dyed onto natural heathered wool, creating muted, speckled hues that are just stunning!

Looking for a modern shawl to knit? The Fine Line is currently on our shelf and is chock full of amazing geometric shawls patterns written especially for Isager Spinni.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amber's Maidenhair Dandy

I am so inspired by all the indie knitting patterns we've picked up at the shop! One of my new favorite designers is Alexandra Tinsley of Dull Roar knitting patterns. I've just finished knitting her Dandy Scarf and it was a quick and satisfying knit.

After I fell for the dreamiest of dreamy yarns that is Handmaiden Maiden Hair, I was on the lookout for the perfect pattern to showcase it's sheen and drapiness. Dull Roar's Dandy Scarf was it! Alexandra's version is knit in 100% silk, and the Maiden Hair I used is a lovely alternative--shiny silk glowing through a magical halo of soft kid mohair.

I am in love with this scarf. It is sure to be a wardrobe staple for cool autumn days. One skein was all it took to make the Dandy, with plenty of yarn left over for the fanciful tassels.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Fancy Tiger Patterns!

Fancy Tiger Crafts patterns have just arrived from the printers!

The My Favorite Sweater knitting pattern and the Market Tote sewing pattern are both now available at our shop! You might recognize these two projects from their regular appearance on our class schedule. Both patterns were developed and have been taught many times here over the years.

We decided it was time to spread the crafty love beyond the walls of our classroom and have had both patterns professionally printed.

The easily constructed Market Tote was developed as a simple bag making class and can now be seen at many a farmer's market around town. Not only is it easy-peasy for beginner sewists--it can be a quick and rewarding project for more advanced stitchers! (Last minute gift project? Check.)

It is roomy enough to bring home all your market finds and the perfect showcase for beautiful, large scale prints from your favorite modern fabric designers.

The My Favorite Sweater pattern has been taught for many years with great results for all body types. The simple top-down raglan sweater is knit seamlessly in the round. Shaping and length are adapted according to your measurements for a perfect fit. The pattern booklet walks you through taking your own measurements and guides you as you create the sweater with the fit of your dreams!

Not in Denver?

Both the Market Tote and My Favorite Sweater are now available for purchase as PDFs in our Etsy store! You can also purchase and download our sweater pattern directly from Ravelry.

We hope to add many more crafty patterns to our roster, so stay tuned for more!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Cat's Rural Jardin Quilt

Greetings from Cat, Gentle Readers. I recently finished this quilt, which I made for my mother. She and I share an obsession for French General fabrics, so this quilt was a delight to put together--although it was the most challenging quilting I had done at the time. I used one layer cake and multiple yards of various fabrics (all from the Rural Jardin collection) for the top, back and binding.

I used a heavy linen fabric (from the same collection) for the back, which gave the quilt a pleasing weight and sturdiness. For binding I chose a toile--not something I would normally do, but I loved the effect. I tried to quilt this on my Janome Threadbanger, but quickly realized that it was too big to handle myself and sent it off to be professionally quilted. The classic stipple was the perfect choice for this fabric and I couldn't have been more thrilled with the results.

I had never done sashing before and learned several hard piecing lessons. The biggest lesson overall was that no one except for me knows that it isn't "perfect" or didn't turn out exactly as I had planned. The quilt is beautiful and my mom loves it, which is ultimately the most important thing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Hello Kitty is Here!

The cutest kitty in all the land has just arrived! Little miss Hello Kitty and some of her adorable friends are featured on our newest prints from Japan. This mid-weight canvas is great for back-to-school bags or perhaps some super-sweet decorative throw pillows!

What can we say? It's fabric and it's Hello Kitty. The End.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Better Know A Crafter: Valerie Sutton

Valerie is working on the cutest handmade wardrobe ever! She keeps coming into the shop and blowing us away with her crafty style. Recently she caught our eye in an adorable Anna Maria Horner Socialite Dress, which you may have seen when we shared it on our facebook page. Her newest creation is this organic cotton bicycle blouse. Valerie has not been sewing very long, but she is already seriously inspiring us.

Valerie Sutton

Tell us about what makes you crafty.
I'm an engineer by day and a sewist by night! I love to craft really unique things. Mostly I sew my own clothing and I also make jewelry.

Tell us about your bicycle blouse.
I made the Sencha blouse from Collete Patterns in a Birch Organics quilting fabric. It looks especially cute with a belt!

When did you learn to sew?
I took my first sewing class in June this summer! I learned right here at Fancy Tiger Crafts.

What is your favorite animal?
My 90 lb husky/lab, Sammie.

Thanks Valerie! Happy sewing!