Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Clever Charlotte Sewing Patterns for Modern Children!

Clever Charlotte sewing patterns are here! This new line of sewing patterns features modern clothing perfect for fashionable little folks.

We love the quirky packaging and can't wait to see you stitch these up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

TNNA Report Winter 2012

Amber, Jess and I just got back from Phoenix where we attended the Winter National Needle Arts trade show. This is where we get to see what's new and exciting in the yarn world and order new yarns, books, patterns and notions! We were really excited to go since we have lots more space now and can expand our yarn offerings! We will have lots of lovely new products coming into the shop over the next few months that we ordered - here is a small preview of some of the awesomeness to come...

We have been dreaming of the Fibre Company yarns for some time and as soon as we walked into their booth - and were greeted by the charming and adorable Courtney Kelley and Hannah Fettig - we knew it was the right company for us. Their gorgeous yarns are all spun and dyed in the U.S. They have designed fabulous patterns so you will have no problem finding something to knit with them. We picked out palettes of two yarns - the Road to China Light (a fingering weight alpaca/silk/cashmere/camel blend) and Terra (a worsted merino/silk/alpaca blend) and we ordered lots of their beautiful patterns. We also ordered Hannah Fettig's new book of patterns, Coastal Knits, that you will love!

Ysolda Teague was signing copies of her two new books, Whimsical Little Knits 3 and Saturday Treat. Jess and Ysolda were both sporting their new button hats (a pattern from WLK3) so it was a great photo-op moment! Both new books are on their way to the store and Ysolda will be treating us to a visit here at Fancy Tiger Crafts on February 17th to do a lecture and book signing!

One thing we knew we wanted to carry once we moved into our new store was the Schacht Cricket Loom. This affordable, table-top, rigid heddle loom is a great beginner loom and introduction to weaving - and made right in Boulder! We were able to try it out and we think you will love it! Look forward to its arrival in late spring and classes with Liz Gibson this summer.

It's always fun when we get to visit the Habu booth. We love them for their many interesting and unique yarns and picked up three new Habu yarns. We are super excited about this paper chenille yarn and the matching pattern by Cocoknits for little airplant pot holders. Perfection.

The most exciting thing that happened at TNNA was meeting with our favorite producer of heritage breed US yarns -  Jeane deCoster, the woman behind Elemental Affects. We will be working with Jeane to develop her new US grown and milled 100% Romney yarn, our first private label yarn. We were able to decide on the palette to be dyed and we will be coming up with names and labels for the new yarn. It is a beautiful, hardy yarn that is everything we could have ever dreamed our first yarn would be. We can hardly wait to share all the details so stay tuned.

At the end of it all we couldn't resist getting our country on with Ysolda and Miriam Felton!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's Time to Register for the Makerie Retreat!

We can't wait for the second annual Makerie retreat April 19th-22nd!

Jaime and I had tons of fun last year setting up shop in Boulder for the weekend in our Fancy Tiger Crafts pop-up shop. We were also delighted to take classes from the adorable and talented textile designer Lizzy House. This year we'll to return to the Makerie and choose classes from instructors including Liesl Gibson, Jenny Doh, Allison Bozeman, Alexandra Cave, Marisa Anne and lots more.

The Makerie takes place at Chautauqua, at the base of the scenic Flatiron rock formations in Boulder. Classes are already filling up, so be sure to register right away if you want to claim a spot!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Better Know a Designer+Blog Giveaway: Jean Moss of Sweet Shawlettes!

Today we are happy to welcome Jean Moss to our little corner of the internet! Jean is an amazing knitter and recently published a book of knitting patterns for sweet little shawls, aptly name Sweet Shawlettes. She also hosts knitting tours of York, Ireland and Morocco--we dream of joining her on one of her tours!

You can win a copy of her new book--see the details at the end of this post!

Jean Moss

Jean, tell us a little about how you learned to knit. 
Originally I learned to knit before I went to school because I wanted to be like my beloved grandmother who spent hours teaching me. A fallow period ensued but my interest was rekindled in my teens when I started to make my own clothes. It was the swinging sixties and I loved what I was seeing on the street and in magazines, but had no way of achieving anything similar other than to pick up my needles again. From then on I was hooked. 


It never occurred to me that I'd ever be able to make a living out of it, especially as I had no formal training in design, but after getting requests for sweaters I'd made for the kids, I decided that it might be a way of making some extra cash from home. No-one was more surprised than I was to find that very quickly I was presenting my designs to luminaries such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and they were placing orders! It was a meteoric learning curve!

Vamp Boa from Sweet Shawlettes

I noticed you not only write books, you also host knitting tours. What are some of your favorite places to visit?
Our tours were born out of a desire to share some of my favourite places with other knitters. Back in 2000 I was invited to do a workshop at the Rowan Mill in Holmfirth to a group of lovely American visitors on a UK tour hosted by Vogue Knitting. My partner, Philip, and I were struck by the fact that their American guides were not familiar with deepest Yorkshire at all.  

Reasoning we could do that, we launched our own programme of tours, initially in the UK, but now further afield to Morocco last year and Ireland this year. We only visit places we know well, so that we can offer our visitors a personal off-the-beaten-track experience. This was made possible in Morocco by the fact that we have a family member who has lived in Casablanca for many years. 

Our aim is to offer the very best of the British knitting scene. Although knitting and yarn feature heavily in our tours, we also try to mix in beautiful gardens, great food, quirky people and  places, and local musicians. The aim is to create a house party atmosphere, where our visitors can unwind with kindred spirits, rubbing shoulders with top designers like Alice Starmore, Sasha Kagan, Martin Storey, Erika Knight, Debbie Bliss, Sue Duckworth, Debbie Abrahams & Sarah Hatton.

Some of our people started a special Travellers with Jean Moss group on Ravelry, where you can speak with past and present participants and get their feedback. Friendships are made and cemented, and many come back year after year. This is why we’re constantly on the lookout for new locations. Morocco last year, Ireland this year, next year we're considering Amsterdam and the Peloponese in Greece - two other destinations we know and love.

Are your sweet shawlettes inspired by some of the places you've been? 
Absolutely! Kardamili is named after one of our favourite villages in the Mani, Greece. In the Brontë fichu, I used a delicate fishtail lace pattern in recycled silk and cotton, as the texture and colours of the yarn remind me of the windswept crags and heather moors of Brontë’s Yorkshire home.   

Bronte Fichu  |  Ceilidh Shawlette

Ceilidh is reminiscent of my Lancashire childhood, when I used to wear a red plaid kilt every winter, as well as my many visits to Edinburgh both independently and on our tours. There's also a wealth of inspiration in the old ganseys of the seafaring folk of the British Isles. Polperro is a contemporary take on these patterns and named for one of my favourite Cornish villages, latterly famous for its knitters.   

Polperro Cape

Garland takes me straight to Venice, where I love to be at this time of year, as it's quiet, spooky and full of mystery and in the evenings there's the passeggiata – the free catwalk show that Italians excel at – glitz with style! I was once snowed in there in early February, the lagoon was frozen and the planes couldn't get in or out – heaven! 

Sweet Shawlettes was wrapped up just before we left for Knit Morocco, so as I was still in the shawlette swing, I designed another shawlette on the tour. I would have loved to include it in the book, but sadly it was too late. However, subsequently I was asked by Taunton to gift a shawl to the upcoming Prayer Shawl Companion so I found a good home for it there. Morocco is a designers dream, complete sensory overload everywhere you look, and I love to think my pattern, Marrakech, captured a little piece of its magic.

Thanks Jean!

To win a copy of Jean's book, Sweet Shawlettes, leave us a comment by Friday, January 27th at 6pm MST telling us your favorite scenic place to take your knitting (or where you dream of going). Make sure to include your contact email. We will chose one winner randomly to receive a free copy of Sweet Shawlettes!

***UPDATE: Thanks everyone for commenting and sharing your favorite knitting locales. Lorraine is our lucky winner--we hope you enjoy your new book!***

If you want to make sure to get your own copy, stop in and purchase the book at Fancy Tiger!

Mon 2 Jan More Yarn Will Do The Trick – Jean Moss 
Tues 3 Jan
Wendy Knits - Wendy Johnson
Wed 4 Jan Knitgrrl - Shannon Okey
Thurs 5 Jan Yarnagogo – Rachael Herron
Fri 6 Jan The Knitter – Rosee Woodland
Sat 7 Jan  Rhythm of the Needles – Joanne Conklin
Sun 8 Jan Knit Purl Gurl – Karrie Steinmetz
Mon 9 Jan CraftSanity – Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood
Tues 10 Jan Planet Purl – Beth Moriarty
Wed 11 Jan Sunset Cat – Stephannie Tallent
Thurs 12 Jan A Really Good Yarn – Julie Schilthuis
Fri 13 Jan knit 1 chicago – Lynn Coe
Sat 14 Jan Go Knit In Your Hat – Carol Sulcoski
Sun 15 Jan Redshirt Knitting – Erika Barcott
Mon 16 Jan In The Loop – Cheryl & Ellen
Tues 17 Jan WEBS – Kathy Elkins
Wed 18 Jan Zeneedle – Margene Smith
Thurs 19 Jan Knitspot – Anne Hanson
Fri 20 Jan Urban Yarns – Alexa Ludeman
Sat 21 Jan A Friend to knit with – Leslie Friend
Mon 23 Jan Tentenknits – Margaux Hufnagel
Tues 24 Jan Fancy Tiger CraftsAmber Corcoran
Wed 25 Jan Chic Knits Bonne Marie Burns
Thurs 26 Jan The Panopticon – Franklin Habit

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jaime's Brickroad Cowl

Ever since we ordered the Madelinetosh Light yarn at the June TNNA, I have been dreaming of knitting up this cowl. The Brickroad Cowl pattern is a pattern by Madelinetosh that shows off the beauty of the fingering merino yarn perfectly. I cast on back in October and just finished it! (We were pretty busy over the holiday season moving the shop and all...)

I love this cowl! The pattern calls for two colors and I knew back in June that I wanted to use the neon Edison Bulb and subtle, creamy Antler for mine. The cowl is knit in the round, alternating the color pattern in the middle, and then seamed with a 3 needle bind off to finish. The result is a thick, double weight tube with a reversible color pattern. The color pattern is a simple slip knit pattern that is easy to memorize after a couple of rounds and makes for an easy and mindless knit. I love the way the cream color slightly subdues the neon.

Of course, since this is Madelinetosh Light it is super soft and the double layers make it wonderfully warm. You will probably be able to spot me from anywhere in this cowl, so be sure to say "hi" next time you see me in it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scrumptious Yarn by Fyberspates is Here!

Beautiful, lustrous skeins of Scrumptious are here from Fyberspates! These 55% merino/45% silk blend yarns are little balls of luxury! We are totally digging the color palette--and guess what--some of the colors are designed by the darling Ysolda Teague!

Meet the yarns: Scrumptious Chunky is a silky single-ply...

...Scrumptious Lace is a delicate 2-ply lace--1000 meters (that's a kilometer!) of yarn to 100g--which means just one skein is plenty to make a gorgeous knitted lace shawl...

...and here is Scrumptious Aran, a shiny plied aran-weight yarn. I think it would make the prettiest cabled hat in town!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Melissa & Ting Lester

Melissa is an amazing knitter and her daughter, Ting, is a totally adorable knitwear model. Ting is pretty proud of her knitting designer mom--she spun around the store showing us this tweedy sweater coat that her mom designed. So cute!

Melissa & Ting Lester

What do you do?
I work in Earth Science publishing but I would really love to be a knitwear designer! I love designing my own sweaters, but I can't seem to actually write down what I do...yet. I learned to knit when I was 16, but I only recently picked it up again when I found Ravelry.

Tell us about the two sweaters you've made!
I'm wearing Warriston by Kate Davies, which I just finished. It's made with 2 skeins of Cascade Eco+. I wear it just about every day. My daughter is wearing something I designed, Pipit Sweater Coat (free on Ravelry), made with Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed.

How did you learn to be such an amazing knitter?
My mom taught me to knit, her mom taught her. I went to boarding school, so I'd knit till I ran into a problem--like a dropped stitch--and I'd put it down until I went home for Thanksgiving or the next holiday. It was slow going.

What is your favorite animal?
Naked mole rat--I want to knit them sweaters!

Thanks Melissa and Ting! Happy knitting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An Abundance of Locally Handspun Yarns!

Local handspun yarns galore! We've just picked up yarns and roving by local handspinners and hand-dyers. We love the texture and colors that you just can't get any other way. Meet some of our local artisans and their yarns!

Eat Agar by local handspinner Desiree is a delicate single ply yarn that is just a little bit crazy, with its tweedy mix of fibers and colors, and a few perfectly placed lumps and bumps.

Pinkilicious handspun by Pink is a chunky single with a high twist, hand-dyed in super saturated colors.

Sleep Season Goods by Megan features hand-dyed sock yarns and handspun yarn from wool that Megan dyes herself in gorgeous colors. Hey handspinners, we also carry her roving for you to spin up too!

Stop by soon to see all these beauties for yourself!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Our New Home!

It's official! We are all moved into Fancy Tiger Craft's new home at 59 Broadway! We rang in the new year surrounded by friends and family who graciously volunteered their time to help us move and we couldn't be more thankful.

We are so excited about our new space! If you haven't stopped by the new location yet, we'd love to see your pretty face and show you around! We are now located just one block north of our old shop on Broadway.

We now have two registers and two cutting tables for the utmost efficiency!

This giant community table and cozy faux fire will host knitting classes, crochet classes and community nights like Craft Night, Man Made, and Open Spin Night!

Colorful yarns galore to choose from! Eric Johnson, local illustrator and sign painter, hand painted these beautiful old-school "advertisements" throughout the store.

Cheery walls of fabric are here to greet you!

Our hand-spinning and felting supplies are now housed on the main floor for easy shopping.

Branwyn loves her new shop!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A New Year and New Echino!

As you may know, we just moved into our brand new store and that means we have a ton of new fabric and yarn. There are so many new collections out, you should probably stop by asap! We are most excited about the new Echino collection of which we have every bolt available! Etsuko Furuya, the woman behind the Echino design is my favorite fabric designer and this collection does not disappoint.

The colors are the same bright colors we have all come to know and love with lots of fuchsia, yellow, black and aqua all on the 55% linen/45% cotton blend that is great and sturdy for bags, skirts, and even quilts! There are border prints of flower fields, a cheater cloth patchwork print, and cockatiel dots. Etsuko has added some new animals to her repertoire and this time we get to see zebras, okapi, and leopards.

Rejoice! Stay tuned to see and hear more about our brand new store!