Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Better Know A Crafter: Shannon Wiggins

Whenever Shannon and Ezra come into the store we all squeal and gasp to see what adorable handmade things he is wearing. Shannon always keeps herself and Ezra decked out in fashionable sewn and knit garments. We think he is in the running for cutest kid in town--I mean, right?

Shannon Wiggins

Tell us about yourself--what kinds of crafts do you do?
I'm a stay at home mama. I have an online cloth diaper biz. I love to sew, knit, spin fiber and make dolls.

What have you been making?
Lots of knit and sewn items for my son. I knit sweaters & pants and sew apparel & diapers. I've also made a few Waldorf dolls.

How did you learn to do what you do?
I'm self taught!

What is your favorite animal?
Dogs fo' sho'!

Thanks Shannon! Happy crafting and we can't wait to see you guys again!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Staff Holiday Gift Picks: Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our 2011 Staff Holiday Gift Picks! By the way, tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, and we have something for you! Shoppers who stop in this Saturday the 26th to support local and spend $20 or more will receive a special little gift from Fancy Tiger Crafts. Hope to see you soon!

Now, here is the rest of the fancy gang sharing their favorite crafty items. Come by and see us for more great ideas!

Greetings! I'm Emily, and I teach advanced knitting, spinning and other more esoteric skills here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. I love constantly pushing my skills, and am often caught crafting in public. Knitting is definitely my first craft, but I love spinning, sewing, quilting, crochet, naalbinding, leatherwork, metalwork, beadwork, and whatever else I can get my hands into! I don't know if you all heard the news, but the fabulous Ysolda Teague was recently in town teaching classes here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Her most recent book, Little Red in the City, is an amazingly complete guide to basic sweater design and beyond! It is a great book for those who just want to follow a pattern too, but beware, those treacherously delightful design chapters might suck you in sooner or later! My super-spectacular Holiday Gift suggestion would be to pair this book with a sweater's worth of yarn in something totally delicious like the all natural undyed heritage breed yarns from Blacker or the organic undyed New Mexican wool. So beautiful!

Liberty of London fabric is the most coveted fabric in the shop and makes an extra-special gift for your favorite seamstress or seamster. Getting a cut of Liberty fabric (or perhaps a collection of 3 different 1/2 yds?) is the perfect gift for the discerning fabric connoisseur. Liberty is so special that some people are too scared to cut into it or perhaps can't find the perfect project for it - this is why the new book "The Liberty Book of Home Sewing" would make an excellent companion gift. This new and beautiful book is chock full of projects perfect for showing off your Liberty. There are lots of projects for even small cuts or scraps of Liberty fabric so your special gift of Liberty will not go unused! We just received a new shipment so we have over 25 beautiful prints to choose from!

Of course, any knitter loves to receive yarn for their stash but if I could recommend one yarn to give as a gift this year it would any of the HABU metallic yarns. This yarn comes in either a silk stainless steel blend or copper bamboo. Both of which are so beautifully unique and can make a simple project extraordinary. I'm currently making a scarf with a copper bamboo edging and I'm in love with how it is turning out! Knitters also love new patterns and, fortunately, modern knit designer, Olga Jazzy, has a bit of a thing for Habu yarns. You can choose from a variety of her geometric inspired patterns or her incredible book, Ori Ami Knits.

Hello! My name is Melissa, I'm newish to working here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Newish in that I briefly worked here last year and am back helping for this holiday season. I'm so excited, since I love Fancy Tiger as a customer and it is wonderful to be surrounded by creative, amazing people. My holiday suggestion would be the new book by Sarai Mitnick from Colette Patterns, The Colette Sewing Handbook. It is simply awesome with several cute patterns and a wealth of knowledge from fabric types to finishing techniques. One pattern I am super excited about is the Licorice dress and I think it would be perfect in our Joel Dewberry Heirloom voile, any of them, but the Paisley pattern in amber would be really fun. Plus this fabric is dreamy to touch and would give the perfect drape for this dress. So if you have a sewist in your life I would definitely pick up this book for them! See you in the store! Bye.
Hello! I'm Branwyn, the trusty shop dog! You may have given me a pat on the head or a treat before. For that, you are my friend for life. My gift recommendation is for the crafty dog lover, of whom I know quite a few. The Style Hounds sweater kits include organic wool yarn and a knitting pattern to make really classy dog sweaters, like cabled sweaters and houndstooth patterns and such. When we get blustery cold winter weather, I know from experience that pups can use a lovingly handcrafted sweater, too!


Fancy Tiger Crafts

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Staff Holiday Gift Picks: Part 1

Welcome to the 2011 gift picks from our fanciest of Fancy Tiger staff!

Being surrounded every day by the most amazing craft supplies of all time is pretty great, and it gives us a lot of time to think about our favorite items. Here is what we are dreaming of, and what might just be the perfect thing for someone crafty on your gift list...

 Hey ya'll Jess here! After being out of the country for 8 months, it was such a delight coming back to my crafty land here at Fancy Tiger. I missed so many incredible new items! Throughout my travels I fell in love with the Korean craft scene. When the Neo Stitch cross stitch case for the Iphone 4 arrived from Korea, I got weak in the knees. My head was full of magical ideas--all of course inspired by adorable Asia--ranging from Hello Kitty to a heart filled love portrait of me and my boyfriend. This kit comes with a chart book, a needle, and thread! What more could you ask for?! I'll tell you what else you could ask for.... more thread! My Neo Stitch companion would be Anna Maria Horner's inspired palette of embroidery floss, which adds 12 more colors to work with. Way happy fun times ahead for me and making my phone a case full of love and joy. Annyeong hi gaseyo! (goodbye!)


Hi, it's Amber here! This winter I'm all about staying cozy. Sarah, one of the amazing Fancy Tiger instructors, keeps making the most cozy and fashionable tops from our eco-friendly jerseys. Two of the classes I'm itchin' to take are Sarah's Serger 101 and 201 classes! Covered are skills on the serger, plus, in the 201 class you get to make the most flattering and comfy sweatshirt of all time. A gift certificate for these sewing classes paired with a couple yards of our hemp/organic cotton jersey would be a pretty awesome treat for a sewer who wants to expand their sewing repertoire!

This Yule my heart belongs to me...and Tracie! Tracie is the name of a two ply, sport weight yarn by Imperial Stock Ranch. It is rustic enough to hold strong through years of tough winters, and soft enough to wear casually. Tracie is extremely beautiful, and has a lofty attitude. After much frustration trying to find the perfect sweater pattern for myself, I have been inspired by the great Ysolda Teague to design my own sweater. Tracie and I have learned that designing a sweater incorporates a lot of math, and planning. While we were squishing each other at Fancy Tiger, a good friend recommended the book Sweater Design In Plain English by Maggie Righetti. At a glance, Tracie and I were excited to see that somebody had spent time developing a step-by-step book about how to design an array of sweaters based on individual gauge and yarn choice. When I looked deeper into the book, I learned that it had much more information about techniques, taking proper measurements, yarn choice, color theory. Perfect! When I wake up on the day of this winter festival, I hope to find Tracie, in the colorways Canyon Shadow and Pearl Grey, resting next to the book Sweater Design In Plain English. We'll keep each other warm and cozy for years to come!

Hi everybody! I'm Amy and you know I love me some modern quilting! So when I saw this hot new quilt book, Modern Blocks, arrive this month, it was love at first sight. 99 killer blocks by some of my favorite modern quilt designers- it's seriously a slice of heaven. I'm drooling over the newspaper boat block on page 166, with Heather Ross mermaids swimming in the sea below- how rad is that?! I love how there's a fantastic range of skill level and style in this book- from a simple appliqued circle, to intricate paper pieced designs, there's something for everyone. I would love for Santa to leave this book under my tree, along with a delicious Tula Pink Prince Charming fat quarter bundle. 30 yummy fat quarters to quilt to my little heart's desire. The stack is so cute though, it might take me awhile to get the nerve to take off the ribbon! 

Hello! I'm Tymla, I'm new to Fancy Tiger Crafts and I am super excited to be working in such a creative and fun environment! My first love is crochet, I can crochet with my eyes closed, but working here has given me a chance to expand my knowledge and skills in many other crafts. I am very focused on improving my knitting skills, there are so many beautiful knit patterns out there that I can't wait to make. This is why I really want Stephen West's third book, Westknits Book Three. My first knit project was the Daybreak pattern in his first book, which turned out great! Now I'm ready to make the Thendara pattern out of Book Three, it's a light weight, angular, striped scarf that I will wear with everything! I'm a big fan of clothing that I can throw in the washing machine with everything else, so I think Madeline Tosh DK in Olivia and Antler will be perfect. It will be super soft and warm. And don't forget your needles!!! Happy knitting!


We hope you are having a great holiday! Check back tomorrow for the rest of our gift picks--even shop dog Branwyn has something she thinks you will like!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide!

We've searched far and wide to bring you the best gifts for your favorite crafty person! We've got everyone on your list covered with an abundance of amazing, inspiring things.

Holiday Gifts Under $20
Holiday Gifts Under $20
So many amazing gifts under $20!

This 1) Handcrafters Hand Balm ($8) is a solid lotion made locally and in small batches by Olde Crone. 100% natural ingredients makes it a luscious and delicious treat for nimble hands--a perfect stocking stuffer! Every crafter can use more buttons in their stash, how about some 2) sustainable, fairly traded horn, bone or locally crafted stone buttons? ($6) Sewists will love to receive a 3) hand printed fat quarter by Sara Lee Parker ($18), we have lots to choose from! Knitters will squeal with glee when they receive a 4) Tiny Santa Kit with everything to make a teeny-tiny knit Santa that is about an 1" tall ($12). Young needlefelters will love a package of 5) "fairy wool". These packages of dyed wool roving come in 6 different color palettes. ($14.85) Our new 6) flower shawl pins are made from sustainably harvested rainforest woods and are dyed every color to match any knit or crocheted shawl ($14). 7) Locally handmade crochet hooks are the perfect gift for your favorite crocheter. Choose from lots of awesome crochet hook friends. ($18). 8) Fancy Tiger Needlefelting kits are great for kids and adults! Each kits contains everything you need to learn needlefelting and make 2 of the creature pictured. ($15)

Holiday Gifts Under $40
Holiday Gifts under $40
Some more great gifts: 1) 55 Christmas Balls to Knit is full of fun knit colorwork ornaments for the holiday tree! ($24.95) Fiber lovers will swoon over the new handspun, hand-dyed 2) 100% Angora yarn from Malabrigo. That's right...angora from Malabrigo!!! ($22) The 3) Lopapeysa DVD features Icelandic knitter, Ragga Eiríksdóttir, teaching everything you need to know to knit your own Icelandic Lopi sweater. ($30). The new 4) Burda Style Sewing Handbook is a great reference style book that also has amazing patterns - every sewist will want this! ($29.99). An adorable 5) Jelly Roll from Moda is a great gift for the quilter in your life. This is enough fabric to piece together a baby to throw sized quilt and they come in tons of different fabric collections ($35). We are so excited about the 6) Lorna's Laces Solemate Kits. Each kits contains one skein of Lorna's Laces Solemate (the sock yarn with the patented Outlast fiber from NASA to scientifically keep your feet the perfect temperature!), a jar of Heel Foot Cream, and some Soak wool wash ($40). No one can resist the cuteness of 7) Woolbuddy felting kits! ($24) Enormous 8) Tunisian Crochet Hooks ($40) are handcrafted by our dear friends at Knitting Iceland and are great for working up super quick scarves.

Extra Special Holiday Gifts!

Holiday Gifts over $40
For the crafter at the top of your list, here are some of the most coveted crafty items in all the land: 1) Knitter's Pride Interchangeable needle sets ($86) come with 9 sizes of needles and 4 cords--everything your favorite knitter needs for nearly any project! This year there were so many fabulous fabric collections released and although some of them are long gone, you can still find some of our favorites, like Anna Maria Horner's LouLouThi and Joel Dewberry's Heirloom in 2) fat quarter bundle collections ($56 - $136). Our most popular class series, 3) the Sewing Skills Series ($175) is finally back! This seven week long series is the perfect gift for the beginner sewist who would like to learn some professional techniques to further their sewing skills. The newest addition to Schacht's amazing family of spinning wheel is the 4) Sidekick ($785). It is the most modern and portable wheel we've ever seen and it spins as smooth as a dream. 5) Jade Sapphire 2-ply Cashmere ($49.50) is the most luxurious yarn--perfect for treating the knitter or crocheter in your life who deserves something really special.

Check back tomorrow for our super-duper Holiday staff picks and see what all the Fancy Tiger folks are dreaming of this holiday season!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Tutorial: Ysolda's Pocket & Ties Skirt!

Jaime and I had tons of fun with Ysolda on her visit to Fancy Tiger!

As you might have guessed, we spent a lot of time knitting and discussing things yarn-related with the adorable Ms. Teague... but, you may not have guessed that we spent quite a bit of time discussing our mutual love of sewing. Not only is she a masterful knitter, Ysolda is an amazing sewist as well!

We spent some time in our sewing studio and before we knew it Ysolda had whipped up a cute skirt of her own invention. We were so enamored with it that we asked her to teach us her crazy amazing sewing ways. Now we'd like to share it with you!

Click below to download the tutorial!

We hope you enjoy stitching up this cute skirt as much as Ysolda, Jaime and I did. Be sure to share your finished skirts with us on our Facebook page so we can see all your sure-to-be-adorable results!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Echo Fabrics by Lotta Jansdotter!

Our little hearts skipped a beat when we opened up this box of Echo, Lotta Jansdotter's first collection of quilting cottons. Lotta has been printing and selling fabric in her Swedish homeland for some time, but we were unable to get our hands on it. Her first U.S. collection for Windham has the same bold pattern and design that we have come to know and love. Lotta has long been inspiring us with her fabric printing and sewing books and kits and now we are totally thrilled to be able to work with her beautiful designs on fabric.

We ordered the full collection so you can create the most amazing Lotta Jansdotter quilt, tie, dress, or bag of all time! Come by soon - these will go quick!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yak Attack! An adventure with Ysolda to Bijou Basin

Amber and I had many fun adventures with Ysolda while she was here. Our most magical day was spent out on the eastern plains on a visit to Bijou Basin Ranch. Carl gave us a very educational tour of the ranch and we met so many yaks! Tibetan yaks are large, kind animals who have a soft, downy undercoat that makes a high quality luxury yarn. The yaks are combed by hand once a year in the spring for their fiber and they get to spend the rest of their days just chillin' on some gorgeous prairie.

There were about a million baby yaks born this year on the ranch so there were lots of curious little faces to meet.

I fell in love with Onyx, the most beautiful and amazing yak of all time. Here we are getting to know each other better with a soft nose-kiss. Onyx was shy, but super sweet once he decided I was his new best friend. If anyone wants to get me a present, you could wrap Onyx in a bow and deliver him to my backyard.

There are about 20 yaks who live out on the ranch. Eileen and Carl use all of their fiber, but they also buy yak fiber from other yak owners around the world to use in their amazing yarns. You can purchase their yarns directly from the ranch here.

Of course, we couldn't resist a photo shoot what with all those cuddly yak faces and all that vast prairie. Thankfully, Ysolda brought plenty of hot knitwear to photograph and Amber and I were her happy and willing models.

On the way home, we stopped at another spectacular photo location, an old ghost town somewhere in the heart of Elbert county. I hope these photos turned out great. Maybe you will see us in an upcoming Ysolda book?  Here's hoping!

Thanks for the fun times, Ysolda, Onyx, Carl and Bijou Basin!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Organic O-Wool from Tunney Wool Company

Fancy Tiger Crafts has just received its first 100% organic wool yarn! We love the O-Wool Legacy DK for its softness, sturdiness, and sustainable mission. Jocelyn runs the Tunney Wool Company out of Pennsylvania and she has a passion for organic wool. Organic wool means a lot in terms of yarn production. It means happier, healthier sheep who are eating organic feed and are not being harmed with any synthetic medicines or chemical dips. You can learn more about organic wool practices and processes here. Jocelyn was sweet enough to send samples of our favorite O-Wool patterns so stop by the store soon to see and feel these beautiful garments in person.

Amber and I went on a photoshoot in all of our favorite South Broadway businesses to show you these awesome garments. Here I am wearing the Porticus in Jen's lovely shop, Hazel and Dewey, which showcases beautifully crafted housewares. I love this sweater and have already cast on to make my own. A simple stitch pattern at the yoke makes this turtleneck interesting and it is super comfy and flattering to wear. 

Here is Amber modeling the Voussoir cardigan in our favorite home-away-from-Fancy-Tiger, Ironwood, where owners Ally and Jeff have the most amazing collection of objects: gemstones, animal skulls, strange houseplants, antiques and locally made furniture and art. This colorwork cardigan features a classic design with updated fit. We could spend hours in here, but for now we'll head down Broadway to...

...Illiterate Gallery, where curator Adam showcases the best art in all the land. It is the perfect place to wear the hip Houndstooth Bandana. This over-sized houndstooth bandana design uses a simple four row colorwork and it has ties at the end which are great for pin-free shawl-wearing action.

Here I am wearing the Montgolfier pullover in our new favorite bakery, Sugar Bakeshop. We especially love the homemade whoopie pies and pop tarts--today the pop tarts are filled with nutella! This sweater has a sugar-sweet lace yoke design and we love the bright cherry red.

Legwarmers are adorable and cozy, so you should probably make these Parapets right away! Amber is modeling them and the Assiniboine cowl in local apothecary Artemisia and Rue, purveyors of herbs, essential oils and delicious small batch chocolates and goodies. Artemisia and Rue is a fitting backdrop for these organic handknits.

We have a lovely palette of the Legacy DK available so you can make all of these amazing garments in your favorite color. There are also lots of free patterns that can be found on the O-wool website here.

Thanks, South Broadway!