May 2008 Archive

Wallpaper: Simply Sublime Bags

posted on May 30, 2008

Simply Sublime Bags, by Jodi Kahn, hits stores July 8. But we’ve got a preview! The beautiful book has 30 DIY projects. Some of the bags you can make include:

Charmed, I’m Sure-brightly colored vinyl makeup bags with vintage plastic charm zipper pulls

Keyhole Clutch-pink-and-white houndstooth fabric lined with duct tape, with keyhole cutouts for handles

Shower Curtain Tote-you guessed it, a funky fabric tote made from a shower curtain

Nights in Black Satin-an elegant evening clutch made from satin ribbon stapled together and adorned with a rhinestone earring clasp

We’ve also put together some desktop wallpaper to wet your appetite. Click on the links below to download different sizes. And don’t forget to pre-order the book!

1024 x 768 | 800 x 600 | 640 x 480

— Shawn

Denim Revolution

posted on May 13, 2008

Denim Revolution goes on sale today. What’s so revolutionary about it, you ask? Nancy Minsky, a former Calvin Klein design assistant, shows you how to mix together old and new to spice up your wardrobe and save your denim from the dumpster. It also has that irresistible greeeeen element which I like because it’s not only earth-friendly, it’s wallet-friendly, too.

Nancy has a great blog you should check out, 21st Century Dressmakers. In addition to her regular posts, she also offers free downloadable desktop calendars. Click here to download her cool May calendar.

— Katherine


posted on May 9, 2008

Even though Spring has just barely landed in New York, I am already geeking out about summer and fall! This week we had our first-ever Crafternoon event – a media reception in which we introduced our summer and fall books (and mingled and noshed on treats, of course). We had an excellent turnout: BUST, Entertainment Weekly, Country Living, Martha TV and radio, were among the many magazines, newspapers, TV, and radio who came out to show their love for Potter Craft’s lineup. It was so much fun to see peoples’ reactions to the actual projects that will be featured in the books, especially from such a wide swath of editors and producers. And what could possibly beat a real-life face-to-face meeting with the people we email and call so regularly?! Crafternoon, on the heels of the awesome Maryland Sheep and Wool festival last weekend (which boasted fantastic yarn and even better weather), has me so energized and primed for making stuff! Summer Fridays and some free time won’t be here soon enough.

Enjoy the pictures, which barely capture some of the fun had at Crafternoon!

— Rosy

Beyond Beading

posted on May 7, 2008

Many of you know Erika Knight as knitter extraordinaire, but she has momentarily turned her attention to beading, to applause-worthy results. Today, her new book, Beyond Beading, goes on sale.

Erika hasn’t strayed too far away from knitting, however. She uses knitting techniques to create her jewelry. Click here to download a free pattern from the book!

— Katherine

Interview with Nancy Thomas

posted on May 6, 2008

For more than 25 years, Nancy J. Thomas has been the editorial voice of the most popular knitting magazines, including Vogue Knitting, Family Circle Easy Knitting, and Knitter’s Magazine. She just published a book with Potter Craft called Tweed, which was written while she was the Creative Director of Tahki Stacy Charles. I caught up with Nancy to ask her about the book and to find out what she’s been up to lately.

1. What made you decide to write a book focusing on tweed yarns? What was your favorite part of the experience of writing Tweed?

Tweed yarns are so beautiful, I knew they would make a great subject. I really agonized about where to find information about the history of tweed yarns. Diane Friedman from Tahki Stacy Charles put me in touch with Francis Walsh, a yarn spinner who lives in the northern most county in The Republic of Ireland and works for a mill that makes tweed yarns. He sent me long emails with great information, and we carried on a fascinating email correspondence. It was such a wonderful experience to deal with him, even though we never spoke or met in person.

2. What is it like to have been part of so many different aspects of the knitting industry?

I feel privileged to have had so many dream jobs. I never imagined that I would be involved in so many facets of the knitting industry. I love to knit and crochet so I want to create projects that I would like to make or read about myself. I have always maintained this philosophy, and it seems to work for me.

3. You’ve recently become creative director of Coats & Clark. What’s your favorite thing about your new job?

Coats is a great company. I really love the challenge of making designs for inexpensive yarns that have a contemporary, upscale look. I also love that Coats is a global company so I get to interact with other staffers from all over the world. I’m involved in projects with people from the UK, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia.

4. What are you knitting right now, and what do you do when you’re not knitting?

I knit all the time! I just finished knitting my niece a baby cardigan with a hood and a cotton baby blanket. I also crocheted her a baby blanket. She’s my favorite niece and is having her first baby in June. I just started a tank in a Coats cotton blend so I’ll have something to work on in long meetings. I do love to travel and plane, train, and car trips give me an opportunity to knit. I also love to read and have belonged to a book group for 7 or 8 years: I try to keep up with reading a book a month.

— Melissa

The Lisa Lloyd Challenge - The Answer

posted on May 5, 2008

And the answer is…THE SCARF ON THE LEFT! Congratulations to those of you who guessed correctly. It’s made from Handspun Corriedale and Mohair. The scarf on the right is made from Jaggerspun Zephyr 218 Wool-Silk.

This is what Lisa Lloyd says about spinning: “Most knitters I know are fascinated with yarn and fiber and have well-established favorites, either in gauge, yarn company, or type. Being a spinner takes all these things to the next level and beyond. Handspinning opens up unlimited possibilities of yarn. If you can imagine a yarn, you can make it.”

— Katherine

A Fine Fleece - Take the Challenge!

posted on May 2, 2008

Many of you have already discovered the new book from Lisa Lloyd, A Fine Fleece.

You can read a few recent reviews by bloggers here:

Knitting Without Needles

Brainy Lady

Another Knitting Blog

Half Baked

My favorite feature of the book is how Lisa shows the finished project in both a handspun yarn and a commercial yarn so that you can train your eye to understand how fiber and texture affect a piece.

Take the Lisa Lloyd Challenge!
Can you guess which is made from handspun yarn and which is from commercial yarn? Post your guesses in the comments section and I’ll post the answer on Monday!

— Katherine