Thursday, March 29, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Kate Hefferan

Kate showed up the other day wearing a fantastic dress of her own design. We are darn impressed by this adorable young designer! Kate had a vision for her next creation and asked us for some recommendations to expand her sewing repertoire. She left with a book on how to design her own patterns and we can;t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Kate Hefferan

What are your favorite crafts?
I like making dresses from scratch.

Kate peruses some of our garment design books

What did you use to create your dress?
I used a sewing machine and three different colorful patterns.

How did you learn to sew?
My mom taught me how to sew.

What is your favorite animal?
Pandas, cows and guinea pigs.

Thanks Kate! Happy designing!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Malabrigo Finito is Here!

Finito is Malabrigo's newest yarn, made from the highest grade wool available in Uruguay--wool that is only available once a year in limited quantity. If you've ever experienced Malabrigo's other merino yarns you know that their yarns are made with the absolute softest wool around. Somehow Finito is even magically softer!

This beautiful yarn is a plied fingering weight that is kettle dyed in beautiful rich hues that seem to glow from within. Once this year's batch of wool is gone we'll have to wait for next year's shearing for the folks at Malabrigo to make this special yarn again.

Hurry in, these pretties won't last long!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ladies Fancywork Society Works Fancy Magic!

We at Fancy Tiger Crafts are big fans of the Ladies Fancywork Society. This street art crew of crafty ladies has been tagging the streets of Denver with colorful yarn-bombs since 2007. You may know them from their amazing ball and chain tag of Denver's Big Blue Bear, their crocheted garden down by Millennium Bridge and the tube socks addition to the Convention Center Dancing Statues. These ladies are quick with the hook and we are delighted to have two LFS pieces currently on display in the shop!

Lucille Lynn, Jeanne Lois, Esther and Maxine of LFS

In anticipation of our new space we asked the Ladies to work their magic on a deer form with several skeins of neon pink Manos Del Uruguay. We couldn't have been more thrilled with what they did--going above and beyond by constructing an 8 foot set of antlers. Amazing!

This magical guy is on display overlooking our community table. He'd love it if you came by to say hello!

We hit the jackpot when we caught wind of about a million crochet granny squares that LFS had recently used for an installation. We helped them rework the squares into a really cool cape for our resident deer, Bucky Junior, who is now on display in our front window!

Come by soon if you'd like to see Bucky Junior's colorful cape in person. He will be on display through the end of the March.

Thanks LFS! Keep on blowing our minds with your mad crochet skills!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Sewing Patterns!

Two new sewing pattern lines are here! Megan Neilsen Patterns and Sewaholic Patterns are both independently designed and published by adorable seamstresses who know a thing or two about stitching up modern and fun garments.

Megan Neilsen's eponymous line of sewing patterns features designs for hip expecting mothers and fashionable ladies. We've never seen such cute maternity patterns!

Sewaholic Patterns by Canadian seamstress Tasia caught our eye recently and we are happy to add these to our selection! We love the Renfrew top, a basic tee with several variations--we'd like to make it in every style!

Springtime sewing, here we come.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Calarri Cox

Calarri dropped by the store and was looking quite snazzy in a totally handmade ensemble! We are inspired by her Aurelia Cardigan which she made with soft organic jersey and a Joel Dewberry print--we will certainly be adding this Sew Liberated pattern to our must-sew for spring list.

Calarri Cox

Tell us about your crafty self.
I am a high school teacher. I love to be creative and make beautiful and fun things for my family. I like to make clothing for my daughter and myself.

Tell us about the handmade-ness you are wearing.
I made the Barcelona Skirt by Amy Butler with a few embellishments and the Aurelia Cardigan by Sew Liberated. I sew on my Bernina and I love it. I used an embroidery pattern from the book, Sublime Stitching: Embroidered Effects for the peacocks.

How did you learn to sew?
My grandmothers both sew (one professionally) and I learned what I know from my mother.

What is your favorite animal?
Dogs who like to cuddle.

Thanks Calarri! Happy stitchin'!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Denyse Schmidt A'Plenty! Flea Market Fancy & Hope Valley are here!

We aren't gonna lie--we have a major crush on Denyse Schmidt.

Now in stock--Flea Market Fancy Legacy Prints! These irresistible prints are a fresh and updated color palette of her much-loved very first collection with Free Spirit.

Denyse has also been working on a new book, Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, which will be here April 1st! We can't wait--we loved her previous book, simply titled Quilts, and it is still one of our favorite references for modern quilting.

Denyse Schmidt's quilt designs are indeed modern--but as her new book title suggests she is also heavily influenced by quilting traditions. The piecing of her quilt patterns celebrate the hand-making process, with charmingly off-kilter lines. Check out some of our favorite patterns below--all available at Fancy Tiger!

As a special treat we have also reordered and now have in stock the fantastic Hope Valley collection--one of our very favorite collections from Ms. Schmidt.

Hurry on in if you need to purchase these beauts--we anticipate they are going to fly out of the store!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New! Snowy Day Cowl Pattern by Fancy Tiger's Own Emily Platzer!

We are proud to have published a new pattern by our very talented knitting instructor, Emily Platzer! The much anticipated Snowy Day Cowl is here!

Many of you have probably seen us wearing or working on this cowl--several Fancy Tiger folks have already whipped up their own. It's a super quick knit and great to wear with jackets on blustery days, or even with a t-shirt on cool spring evenings. In the worst of weather the cowl can be pulled up like a hood to protect your noggin.

Ysolda was kind enough to model for us when she was in town!

The cowl is uses an interesting slip stitch pattern that is simple to work and makes two lovely sides, each with stripes running in different directions.

Emily reverse-engineered the stitch pattern from an amazing item that a customer picked up in Spain. We all fell in love with the simple looking--but totally intriguing--stripes. The texture of the fabric uses a contrast in yarn weight and color, combining super bulky Cascade Magnum yarn with a contrasting thinner sport weight yarn.

Jess, Angelique and Emily model their cowls

Find more details here! You can purchase the pattern on Etsy or by stopping by to see us at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Happy knitting!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Jaime's Porticus Sweater

I just finished my Porticus sweater! The Porticus sweater is a design by Amy Christoffers for Tunney Wool Company. We were lucky enough to have samples of Tunney Wool Company's fantastic patterns when we hosted a trunk show here at the shop last November and I was able to try on the designs. I feel in love with this sweater. I love the open cowl neck, the subtle stitch pattern and the great fit. I knew I had to make it, but the winter was pretty busy with moving the store. Once we were all moved, I cast on for this sweater at the first craft night at our new store on January 10th. My goal was to knit this sweater in 1 month. I almost made it. It probably would have been a good idea to pick a sweater with a slightly bigger gauge for such an ambitious goal, but it only took me 2 weeks past the one month mark.

Jaime's Porticus Sweater

Porticus pattern by Amy Christoffers
9 skeins O-Wool Legacy DK in Coal (size 34)
40" US 4 circular needles

I choose to use the yarn the pattern was made for - the O-Wool Legacy DK. This organic wool yarn is a soft merino, but tight plies mean it will wear well. I choose black - I wanted a classic sweater that will look great for years. The stitch pattern is still visible, but it is very subtle in black.

The sweater went together great. It is knit top down and seamless with raglan sleeves. The stitch pattern at the top, bottom and cuffs keeps you motivated to knit fast and the stockinette stitch in the middle is perfect for watching tons of Downton Abbey episodes.

Yay for knitting!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

New Yarns from Habu Textiles + A Knitted Nest for Your Airplants!

Adorable yarns from Habu Textiles have arrived! Habu is known for their irresistible brown paper wrapped bundles and cones of yarn. These yarns knit up to create fashion forward textures using intriguing fibers--papery yarns from linen and cotton, raw silk, super fine brushed mohair...

These little guys are raw silk wrapped linen ribbon, crisp and light and like nothing else! We imagine light flowing tanks for spring.

The new Knitted Nests pattern from Coco Knits is a sublime way to use some of these lovely yarns. We picked up several super-cute air plants from Ironwood just down the street and knit up a little nest for each one.

The Cotton Linen Paper Moire yarn we used for this little nest has a confetti texture--little wisps of linen paper are caught between a fine cotton core.

Habu's lace kid mohair is super fine, for delicate knitting that seems lighter than air. It has 311 yards in this cute bundle, so this tiny package goes much further than you would guess!

This Printed Cotton "Gima" (Japanese translation: fake linen) is crisp like linen but made from 100% cotton. It is a fine ribbon yarn and with an organic printed pattern which adds to the fun texture.

Another cotton linen paper moire yarn, this all-natural yarn is a wilder version of the yarn we used for our knitted nest sample!

We hope you love these amazing yarns as much as we do!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Melissa Miller

Melissa has been coming to our Open Spin night since it started last summer. She was spinning up a huge amount of beautiful merino silk on her Schacht Matchless wheel and it was such a pleasure hanging out and getting to know her. The yarn she was making was for a sweater for her mother. She just brought in the finished sweater and it is soo gorgeous! Melissa just moved away to Toronto, so she will be missed. Good luck Melissa -thanks for the inspiration!

Melissa Miller

 What kinds of crafts do you do?
In my grown up life, I am an epidemiologist, so I spend a lot of time with computers and numbers. In my free time, I spin, knit, weave, and quilt. I really enjoy getting to see what I make with my hands and its fun to be creative.

Tell us about making your sweater
I've been spinning for about 7 years, but this was my first big project. I spun about 25 ounces of singles and made a 4 ply yarn. I knit the yarn into a Beatnik (pattern), and I gave it to my mom.

How did you learn to knit?
I learned to spin a few years ago, but I've been knitting since I was 7 or 8. My mom taught me to knit, and so each year I thank her with a new sweater--she almost has a closet full.

What is your favorite animal?
Sheep, of course!

Thanks Melissa! Happy spinning and knitting!