Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fancy Report: The Makerie 2012

Jaime and I spent the weekend at The Makerie, and what a lovely weekend it was! The Makerie is an annual creative retreat in Boulder and we were thrilled to participate again this year.

We set up shop with our mini Fancy Tiger Pop-Up store again this year. We got to stay in our cute little cabin/store in Chautauqua for the weekend, which meant there was plenty of time for chatting over a glass of wine on the front porch with our dear customers and new Makerie friends. How much more quaint can ya' get?

photo by Teryn Wilkes

photo by Teryn Wilkes

Jaime and I both took classes from some of the many fabulous instructors who were at the retreat. If only we could have taken all the classes!

We both wanted to brush up on our crochet skills and couldn't resist Jenny Doh's Crochetologie class. Jenny is a master of all thing crafty--especially crafting the cutest packages of crochet supplies for all her students!

We crocheted a rock cozy, made a dainty flower chain necklace embellished with vintage buttons and upcycled old textiles into a coaster set. Do you recognize my old Anna Maria Horner voile curtains in their new life as a trivet and coasters? Jenny is a super sweet lady and so inspiring.

I also took Marisa of Creative Thursday's Painting With Stitches class. We embroidered and painted and then embroidered some more as we each embellished one of Marisa's adorable drawings. It was amazing combining these two different creative techniques.

I then decided to go for it freestyle on some linen fabric. Inspired by an old pinwheel quilt hanging in the Chautauqua Community Hall, I painted a geometric pattern and then satin stitched a few of the triangles. Thanks Marisa, for opening up my crafty little eyes--turns out I love painting with stitches!

Jaime also took one of Marisa's classes--Creative Character. Marisa shared her softie-making skills in this epic creature crafting class.

Jaime and her Fox & Marisa and her many Rick Rack Rabbits

Jaime was on a mission to make an adorable fox doll that, as she said, "looks like a fox"...

Creative characters being created.

...and I think she succeeded splendidly! Her fox might be the cutest thing ever! To be honest, I can't look at it too long, because it's just so amazing that I want to eat it.

We enjoyed lots of porch time after class, sharing the company of many lovely folks, including amazing designer, Liesl Gibson. (Liesl likes Jaime's fox, too.)

Jaime, Liesl and Amber

We had oh-so-much fun at the Makerie this year, and we can't wait till next year!
photo by Teryn Wilkes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Yuwa Fabrics are Here!

Two fabric collections just arrived from Yuwa and they are blowing our minds!

The first is from quilter extraordinaire, Yoshiko Jinzenji. A textile artist with a truly unique aesthetic, Yoshiko's fabrics are minimal and celebrate hand-made. The fabric is sparsely decorated with drawn lines and brushstrokes. Some of the fabrics reproduce her amazing quilts, down to the stitch marks. See her book Quilting Line + Color for more inspiration.

Japanese illustrator, Anyan's first collection with Yuwa has just arrived! Her Cotorienne line, with drawings of animal friends touring together, are too cute! Wonky geometrics, botanical prints and birds--every print in this collection is fantastic.

See you soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jess is a Crafting Maniac

Our dear Jess has moved to LA. An inspiring crafter and super-fun gal, Jess has been a big part of Fancy Tiger and we will miss her so! We asked Jess to share some of the many things she has made in the last year and, man, has she been busy! Enjoy!

Boy oh boy! Where do I start? I am surrounded by inspiring people on a daily basis and working at Fancy Tiger has given me such a creative outlet. From customers projects, to being able to take the amazing classes offered here, my brain is always spinning with what I can make next.

While on the move last year (traveling through Asia) I knew I needed something to keep me busy. Something small and that would take me a while to make - what better than the Whisper Cardigan in lace weight yarn!? This was my first time working with lace weight yarn and only my second sweater. I used Malabrigo lace and I must say, I'm quite impressed with my sweater. This little dream traveled with me to 9 different countries and for sure kept me busy.

When I arrived back in the states, I decided that with 2 sweaters under my belt it was time for me to make my very first hat! I found the Star Crossed Slouchy Beanie pattern on Ravelry and instantly fell in love. This was also my first cabled project. Everything went smoothly and I love my little red hat =)

I couldn't resist making myself a new phone cozy. I used some self striping yarn and whipped this bad boy up in no time!

Who could't use another school house tunic?! I adore this pattern! I decided to add a little tie along the waist. I am so happy I did. It gives a little more shape to the shirt and is quite flattering. 

This blog post is for sure a lot of firsts for me. I was able to build my knitting and sewing skills through all the incredible people working and involved with Fancy Tiger. 
I have only been knitting for 2 years! Next up, the Hendreary hat by the lovely Ysolda Teague. This my friends, was my very first color work project!  I had a deadline to make this hat by TNNA so I could show it off to Ysolda. I think I nailed it.

Check it out! This beaut was made in the Seger 201 Cowl class this winter at Fancy Tiger. Sarah, our amazing sewing instructor, morphed this pattern from being made entirely on a sewing machine, to only using a serger. This was my first garment made with a serger. I have to say, I loved it! Most of the employees have one of these, so it is quite common for a co-worker to be wearing theirs when I wear mine. Did I mention how cozy it is?!

Do you see my hands getting busy in that picture above?! I was so inspired from Angelique and Amber's Aidez sweaters that I just had to make one myself. This was a huge under taking for me, but I was determined to do it, and in just 6 weeks! Imperial Stock Ranch, Colombia yarn had been calling my name and I finally found the right project for it.  I started this in the beginning of February and wanted to have it finished by March, giving myself time to wear it before summer. I was a little worker bee buzzin this sweater out. I am so proud of this and the way it came out.  I had never done cables on such a large scale, nor had I done a sweater in parts. I LOVED making this! It was so much fun to follow the cable patterns and by making it in parts you get instant gratification of each part. I decided instead of knitting the sleeves flat and seaming them together, I would knit them in the round. I didn't run into any problems and I'm so happy I did that. Although, I do have to say my seams are close to perfect. Thank you mattress stitch.

Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?! All my dreams came true!! On the Holiday blog Staff Picks, I wished for the Iphone4 cross stitch case. Someone was paying attention (thanks boyfriend!) It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to make. I am finding a lot of inspiration from the 70's. So I looked up 70's wallpaper designs and fell in love with this one. I will tell you that this is a commitment. Those little holes don't cross-stitch themselves people! This took me quite sometime, but boy am I glad I finished!

It was my last week at Fancy Tiger, and I was so inspired to make a new tank top for my big move to LA. I made my Wiksten Tank out of voile and convinced Jaime I needed a pocket out of Liberty. She happily obliged. Jaime and I wanted to bust this shirt out in just an hour. I was quite impressed with our determination. This shirt is made with french seams, which we were kind of afraid of. They were so simple and now we have beautiful shirts with enclosed seams. 

Happy crafting to all of you!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Craft Up A Trend: Nautical Style

Nautical style is super adorbz! We've been seeing it everywhere--in some of our favorite local shops and on the streets of Denver as the weather turns warmer. 

1) Kling dress at Fancy Tiger Clothing  |  2) Whale Necklace by Winter Garden Studios  |   3) Anchors Away Wall Embroidery by motherMAEi  |  4) Sailor Shorts by Tara Starlet  |  5) No. 232 Duffel by Billy Kirk  |  6)  Nautical Set by Vital Industries  |  7) Knot Diagram Pillow by Coral & Tusk 
We've gathered together our best nautical supplies and patterns that would be coveted by the most fashion-forward sailor, so you can craft up a trend!

The Jasmine top sewing pattern by Colette is a sweet and feminine take on a sailor top. A light cotton voile in navy and white polka dots would be perfect!

Knitting guru Emily is already on the right track with this trend, knitting an Aidez cabled aran cardigan in deep royal Cestari Worsted (100% US raised and milled wool yarn). The free pattern from Cirilia Rose is a hip take on a classic fisherman's sweater.

The Anchors Away collection by Dear Stella is nautical to the max with nets, knots, sailboats and anchors. Summerime pool bag? Yes.

Erquy by Heather Dixon is a saucy, striped camisole, and would be perfect knit up in shiny Pima Cotton by Cascade.

We've been anxiously anticipating the arrival of Colette's brand new patterns and just love the new shorts pattern, Iris. Made in Essex yarn-dyed cotton linen and embellished with four bright red tagua nut buttons, tehy would be perfect for lounging on your sailboat.

Narwhals! Mysterious creatures of the high seas! Ysolda captured their adorable-ness in her mitten pattern from Whimsical 3.

A summer dress? Little boy's button down shirt? Pretty much anything would be amazing made out of this "French" sailor print on double gauze from Japan.

We love jersey! And what's better than jersey? Striped jersey! The Renfrew pattern from Sewaholic is the perfect pattern to get you sewing up a summer wardrobe's worth of cute tees. (Secret note to you: We will also have two fantastic classes for jersey tops on our soon-to-be-released summer class schedule--look for that at the end of the month!)

Sailors beware, this adorable toothy shark by Woolbuddy will teach you to needlefelt and then be your friend forever if you let him! 

We hope to see you sporting some handcrafted nautical style soon!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Washi by Rashida Coleman-Hale

We ♥ Washi! This new collection by Rashida Coleman-Hall of I Heart Linen is the new favorite in the shop!

Rashida is also the author of two super lovely books, Zakka Style and I ♥ Patchwork, and we are big fans of her linen-loving style!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yummy New Summer Yarns from Be Sweet!

Hooray for summer knitting! Two yarns have just arrived from Be Sweet in a plethora of pretty hues that will inspire you to knit all summer long!

Bambino is an adorable combo of organic cotton and silky bamboo. The two fibers are spun into separate plies that are unevenly plied together and the yarn is then hand-dyed for the most lovely hand-made look.

Be Sweet Bamboo is oh-so shiny and silky, a 100% bamboo yarn that is hand-dyed. The colors range from almost solids and semisolids to tone-on-tone variegated colors. It knits up into a lovely drapey fabric--perfect for summer cardigans and luxurious shawls. We love the idea of knitting a summertime Dandy Scarf from it!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Emily's Handspun Angora Aestlight

Some of you may be familiar with Victoria--Queen Victoria, that is--one of the cutest buns of all time. Victoria is my mischievous and fluffy English Angora Rabbit, my first and only fiber animal. She sheds all her fiber twice a year, and seems to shed three new bunnies every time! She loves my dog Branwyn and follows her around, eats things growing in the yard, and her favorite treats are stale bread, arugula, and dandylions.

Ever since Amber cast off her Aestlight, I have been wanting to make one of my own. And after playing and refining the spinning of my lovely bunny Victoria's locks, I decided that this would be the perfect project for my handspun yarn. I started by spinning Victoria's English Angora wool with the wheel, but the yarn wasn't quite right. I then tried my sweet little Turkish drop spindle, spinning and then plying little skeins one after the other. The fiber began to sing in my fingers, and the yarn was exactly what I was looking for.

After starting the shawl, a local "bunny herder" brought in her beautiful angora fiber, which we now carry in the shop. I picked out a gorgeous light peach shade and used it to spin yarn for a contrasting border, finishing the edging with more handspun Victoria.

I love it so much, and want to wear it every day!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here is an adorable look into the life of Queen Victoria as she enjoys some park funtimes (also starring Eddie). Enjoy!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Fancy Tiger Craft's Heirloom yarn is here!

All of our dreams have come true!! Fancy Tiger Crafts is pleased to announce the launch of our first-ever yarn line. Welcome Heirloom!

You know we are passionate about yarn. We are also passionate about wool, heritage breeds of sheep and supporting U.S. sheep farmers. When Jeane deCoster of Elemental Affects approached us about doing a private label yarn, we were thrilled. Jeane's U.S. grown and milled Shetland yarn has been one of our favorites for years. Jeane has developed a new yarn for us that you are going to love.


Heirloom is a 100% U.S. grown, milled and dyed Romney yarn. Romney is an especially adorable breed of sheep that evolved from medieval longwool sheep. Their wool is lustrous, strong and hardy and garments made from it will look great for years to come.

One characteristic of Romney sheep is adorable-ness.

Fancy Tiger Craft's Heirloom Romney is a worsted weight yarn. The base yarn is a natural light heathered grey which is then over-dyed in small batches by Jeane. All of the colors have amazing depth and you can see the heathered wool in the paler colors. The yarn is sold in awesome 4 oz hanks that give you 200 yards of woolly goodness to work with. One of the most exciting things about developing this yarn with Jeane was choosing the color palette. What happens when Fancy Tiger Crafts gets to pick colors? You get a modern and stunning spectrum of 21 colors. 3 shades of yellow? Check. Hot pink? Check. 2 shades of mysterious almost-black? Check. Not only do we love each and every color, but we can't handle how good they all look together! We also got to name the colors so of course they were named after Heirloom plants such as Mullein, Radish, Golden Beet, Elderberry and Nettles.

The hottest color palette known to yarn

We were able to design the labels and we even labeled all the yarn. Funtimes!

Heirloom looks great, feels great and even smells great. Fancy Tiger Craft's Heirloom is now available at the shop and online here for all of you out-of-towners. We hope you love it as much as we do and we can't wait to see what you make with it!