June 2008 Archive

Wallpaper: Sweater Renewal

posted on June 30, 2008

Sweater Renewal, the first Potter Craft title by Sharon Franco Rothschild, isn’t due in stores until August 19, but we have a sneak peek! Download the wallpaper today and get ready to start gathering your old sweaters, starting your washing machines, and sharpening your scissors …

The 25 colorful, cheerful projects in Sweater Renewal incorporate a diverse range of skills-including felting, applique, crochet, sewing, and embroidery-and range from Short, Sweet & Simple Projects using felted sweaters, such as a cell phone holder and a Fair Isle digital camera case, to Knitted, Felted & Fantastic Projects that you knit and then felt, such as a purse and a felted scarf. Most can be finished in less than a day, some in a few hours.

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— Shawn

Thom’s Project

posted on June 25, 2008

My name is Thom and I’m the Editorial Assistant at Potter Craft. To me, making a craft project is always half inspiration and preparation and half actually putting the pieces together. With that in mind, I invite you to come with me on the two-part journey of a newly minted sewer on the trail of his second project.

Part 1: Hunting and Gathering

The Target store at the Atlantic Center in Brooklyn is busy everyday, but on Saturday it’s a zoo. The express line looks like the one outside of Shake Shack. It often snakes around half of the women’s clothing section. Thanks to the staggering number of people that pass through the store, it’s inevitable that things tend to travel far from their rightful places. Light bulbs end up in the food aisles and I once found a pair of scissors in electronics. They were not electric scissors. But in the chaos there is sometimes a single, shining ray of beauty. Digging through the haphazardly strewn racks of clothes is like going to a thrift store. You never know what the experienced hunter might find.

Like, say, a t-shirt with a giant watercolor lion head design-its resplendent oranges and blues second only to the creature’s majestic gaze. Which is exactly what I found that Saturday, sitting atop piles of inferior t-shirts and assuming its rightful place at the top of the t-shirt food chain. If you saw it, you too would have to have it. Unfortunately, I could never wear something that majestic in public. That didn’t change the fact that I had to buy it.

So now I had my inspiration. Even though I couldn’t pull off this design on a t-shirt, I was fairly confident I could wear it on a bag. The next stop for me was Baltic Bazaar (in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn), a store so amazing it probably deserves its own blog post. This place sells fabric by the pound instead of by the yard, so it’s possible to spend 20 bucks and have enough material for the next three months. I went in with dreams of brown fabric (to go with the brown outlines on the lion head) and came out with black canvas, green vinyl, and a dark gray material with a feel (and pattern) that evoked dress pants. Don’t ask how that happened. I also picked up some heavy-duty light turquoise thread.

Join me next month to learn how not to sew and to see some pictures of the end result.

— Shawn

Forum Question

posted on June 21, 2008

It’s time for another forum question! Be sure to leave your comments below and check back to be a part of the conversation!

Question: Today is the first day of summer. What project are you going to be working on during the season?

— Shawn

You Made It Submissions

posted on June 18, 2008

Irene Koo recently submitted these gallery photos from a project she adopted out of Karen Elder’s Potter Needlework Library: Embroidery, a 2006 Potter Craft title.

Now it’s your turn. We are calling for all submissions you may have. The only requirement is that you send photos and a credit for the book you used. That’s it! If we post your pattern, we’ll send you a free upcoming book.

Easy enough?

Email the photos here, and be sure and leave a comment so the community knows the pattern you submitted. The deadline for submissions is July 3. We will release the results on July 10.

Happy crafting!

— Shawn

Renegade Craft Fair

posted on June 16, 2008

After having so much fun in Columbus at TNNA last weekend, Potter Craft’s publicity director, Kate Tyler, and I found ourselves jonesing for some more crafty encounters closer to home. Luckily, the Brooklyn stop of the Renegade Craft Fair was in happening and satisfied our craft craving like a Snickers bar at 4 pm.

Unlike TNNA, which is exclusively for the trade (i.e. no cash and carry), the Renegade Craft Fair is open to the public for pure retail therapy. We started out the day early-we know who gets the worm-which meant 11 am, when doors opened. By noon, the crowds were upon us, no doubt thanks to listing on sites like Etsy.com, Flavorpill.com, ApartmentTherapy.com, and on the blogs of the 200-plus handcrafters who exhibited at the market.

It was great to see our authors, Cal Patch of Hodge Podge Farm and Faith and Justina Blakeney of Compai and to be able to meet so many other super-talented crafters selling a wide variety of jewelry, letterpress cards, decoupaged goodies, baby stuffs, t-shirts, screen prints of all kinds, and generally fun, one-of-kind goods. I picked up some truly beautiful letter pressed cards and a pair of earrings, while Kate scored with a few necklaces made out of typewriter keys-all things that we knew we couldn’t make ourselves!

Check out the pictures from the show below!

— Rosy

Forum Question

posted on June 14, 2008

We’re starting a new feature at Potter Craft News. Every Saturday we will post a new question for everyone to discuss in the comments section below. Let’s start chatting!

We saw this story about crochet hooks being used to treat varicose veins:

Question: What creative uses have you found for your own crochet hooks?

— Shawn

Wallpaper: Knitted Critters

posted on June 12, 2008

Whether your little one is as cuddly as a kitten or prowls like a lion, you’ll find the perfect accessories here.

Jean Adel shares patterns for the cute creatures that have made her JEANADEL line at Barneys department store sell out season after season. The hats, mittens, and scarves can be made in three sizes (for children ages 3 to 7) and require basic knitting skills that Jean guides you through-as well as some slightly more advanced techniques (intarsia, knitting in the round) should you wish to challenge yourself further.

Finishing touches that give the wooly animals personality are as simple as a stitched mouth, some googly glued-on eyes, a pom-pom nose, or a few artfully placed buttons.

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— Shawn

Photo Gallery: TNNA

posted on June 9, 2008

Check out some photos the Potter Craft team has sent in from TNNA. Click on an individual picture to read the description. Tell us what you think. Which author pictured below would you most like to have lunch with?

— Shawn

Sunday Recep from TNNA

posted on June 9, 2008

Sarah’s Recap from Sunday at TNNA:

Another busy day on the show floor. We kicked the day off with Gina Wilde signing copies of her much hyped Shibori Knits, available in stores on August 26! The line was around the Unicorn booth as Gina eagerly talked to the crowd about the Japanese art of Shibori.
Then came the fabulous Big Girls signing their second book More Big Girl Knits, available now. Even though Amy lost her voice Jillian more than made up by chatting the crowds ear off. Sharon Franco Rothschild was also in attendance signing copies of Sweater Renewal. Finally a use for those too small and out of fashion wool sweaters!
Stay tuned later today for a photo gallery from the show floor.

— Shawn

Things We Learn at TNNA

posted on June 8, 2008

Sarah, a Publicity Manager for Potter Craft, on a surprise at TNNA:

Ever since I got married I have been going through a bit of an identity crisis. All my life I have been known as Sarah Chance or Chancer or on occasion, courtesy of my high school science teacher, Take-a-Chance, but now I’m a Breivogel! What’s a girl to do with that? Don’t get me wrong I love my husband and I’m proud to be a part of the Breivogel clan, but let’s be honest, it’s a bit of a mouthful (not to mention hard to spell!)
Last January at TNNA I discovered some “craftacular” news. Upon running into Debbie Stoller (Bust Magazine) on the show floor I learned that my new married name Breivogel actually means Knitting Bird! Hallelujah! Rejoice! It’s a knitting miracle!!!
What else will I learn at TNNA this year? Can’t wait to find out!

— Shawn

Live from TNNA

posted on June 8, 2008

Donna, our Marketing Director, is posting from the road, at TNNA. Here’s what’s going on:

From oh my god to fabulous! We arrived in Columbus yesterday for TNNA to find a mountain of boxes in the Potter Craft booth, but after a few hours things really started to take shape. It rocks if we do say so ourselves! We have fantastic projects on hand from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, Twinkle’s Town + Country Knits, Shibori Knits, More Big Girl Knits and Sweater Renewal amoung others. (P.S. I am so stealing the Shibori Fez and taking it home!)

It’s day one and we kicked the show off this morning at the Tahki Stacey Charles Breakfast Seminar. We met up with Marilyn Murphy, President of TNNA and Publisher of Interweave as well as editors Eunny Jang, Kim Werker and Lisa Shroyer. The event was wrapped up by a signing with Nancy Thomas, author of Tweed. FUN!

The booth’s been a hotbed of activity so far. A few of our authors have come by including Doris Chan (Everyday Crochet), Sally Melville (Mother-Daughter Knits) and Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno (More Big Girl Knits). It’s been great to see everyone.

So much to see, so many people to meet and so much to do… Including all of the book signings tomorrow.

Back to the booth … more to come tomorrow!

— Shawn

Potter Craft at TNNA

posted on June 6, 2008

Here at Potter Craft we’re packing our bags and heading off to TNNA, The National Needlearts Association trade show, which runs Saturday through Monday. This summer’s show will be held in Columbus, OH. My very first TNNA was last year’s Columbus show, so I’m pleased to be returning this year, and looking forward to seeing some friendly faces (and visiting the awesome North Market).

And of course it’s so exciting to get a sneak peak at the new yarns-as a trade show TNNA is not open to the public, but it’s where yarn shop owners go to buy. The decisions made at this show determine what you’ll be seeing on the shelves in your LYS (and taking home and putting on your needles) come the Fall.

If you’re going to be at the show, come and visit us in Booth 1513/1612. We hope to see you there! If not, check back over the weekend for ongoing updates from the show, and on Tuesday for a complete recap.

— Shawn

Win a Free Book!

posted on June 4, 2008

UPDATE #3: We are proud to announce the winners of the Knitted Critters contest. Thanks so much for the overwhelming response. Please check back in two weeks for another contest. The prize will be a copy of Jodi Kahn’s Simply Sublime Bags.

And … drum roll please …. the winners are:

Laura F.

We will be in touch over email!

Thanks again to everyone who entered.

UPDATE #2: The contest closed at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Please check back on Thursday for the winners, as well as the three most voted for books. Thanks to all who entered.

UPDATE: Just a reminder that the deadline to submit for the Knitted Critters contest is TOMORROW (Tuesday) at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Make sure to enter now! Winners will be announced on the blog on June 5!

In her new book, Jean Adel shares patterns for the cute creatures that have made her JEANADEL line at Barneys department store sell out season after season. The hats, mittens, and scarves can be made in three sizes (for children ages 3 to 7) and require basic knitting skills that Jean guides you through-as well as some slightly more advanced techniques (intarsia, knitting in the round) should you wish to challenge yourself further.

The book arrives in stores June 3. But why wait? We’re giving away five FREE copies. Just leave a comment below and tell us your favorite Potter Craft title of all time, and why. We’ll pick five and announce the winners on the blog on June 5. For inspiration, visit our catalog here.

Click here for the official rules.

— Shawn