Ready to do some warm-weather knitting for your favorite kid? More Knitting in the Sun has lots of great patterns to choose from, including the streamlined Ramona Racerback Tank designed by Katherine Vaughan. I’ll be knitting one for my on-the-go daughter to wear all summer long. Click the link below for the free pattern!
We are very fortunate here at Wiley to have worked with Kristi Porter, author of More Knitting in the Sun. She has been making her way around the crafting blogosphere talking about everything on knitting, her new book, and much much more. Below is a schedule of her apperances. Be sure to stop by these sites and come back on May 13th for a nice surprise when Kristi guest blogs for us here.
More Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour
May 2 Carol Sulcoski, Go Knit in Your Hat
May 3 Kendra Nitta, Miss Knitta
May 4 Talitha Kuomi
May 5 Laura Nelkin, Nelkin Designs
May 6 Carol Feller, Stolen Stitches
May 7 Janine le Cras, GuernseyGal Designs
May 8 Faina Goberstein, Faina’s Knitting Mode
May 9 Katherine Vaughan, Knit with KT
May 10 Stefanie Japel, Stephanie Japel Knits…
May 11 Here at WileyCraft.com with a free pattern from her book
May 12 Brandy Fortune and Allegra Wermuth, Petite Purls
May 13 Interview with Kristi here at WileyCraft.com including photo faves and “outtakes”
Be sure to stop back on May 13th for a special surprise too.
Just a friendly reminder that we are running a charity project here at WileyCraft.
For those of you who are interested in receiving a free knit doll kit, please post your comment here. The first 10 to post will receive a free kit to make a military doll and a copy of Knit This Doll to make custom . We encourage you all to create your own military doll to be donated to a military family. Military Doll Free Pattern!
A big THANK YOU to everyone that has signed up for our Project Tester Program. It is off to a great start!
Our authors and editors truly appreciate the feedback they’ve been receiving. If you haven’t been asked to help yet, be reassured that you are on our list and will be notified when a project comes up in your speciality.
If you have just joined our blog and are interested in learning more, please see our March 3rd post for more details on the program. To sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Jennifer Casa, the author of Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crafting with Kids, is in the middle of a blog tour! Catch her this month on the following blogs:
Wednesday, April 13: A Stitch in Dye
Friday, April 15: Smile and Wave
Monday, April 18: Elsie Marley
Wednesday, April 20: Maya*Made
Friday, April 22: Stitches in Play
Tuesday, April 26: Aesthetic Outburst
Thursday, April 28: Artsy Crafty Babe
For many knitters, spring means that it’s time to put away the bulky sweater projects and break out smaller ones, like socks. To knit socks, you usually use double-pointed needles, or dpns—straight needles that are tapered at both ends. If you’ve been wanting to give dpns a try but have been feeling a little intimidated, look no further. In this tutorial from our upcoming book Teach Yourself VISUALLY Circular Knitting, sock-knitting superstar Melissa Morgan-Oakes takes the fear out of working with a set of four dpns.
Cast the desired number of stitches onto one of your double-pointed needles.
Starting with the first cast-on stitch (the slipknot), slip about one-third of the stitches onto an empty dpn as if to purl. This is needle 1.
Slip the center third of the stitches onto another empty needle, needle 2. Needle 3 retains the last third of the stitches. One empty needle (needle 4) remains.
Adjust your cast-on edge so that it is not twisted around the needles. Make sure that the bottom edge of the cast-on runs smoothly from needle to needle without looping over the needles.
Flip the work over so that needle 3 (with the yarn tail and working yarn) is on the right and needle 1 (with the first cast-on stitch) is on the left. Bring the free ends of needles 1 and 3 together to form a triangle. Lift the work in your left hand with needle 1 on top of needle 3. This may feel fiddly at first, but you will get used to it.
Position the working yarn so that it runs up from the last cast-on stitch to the outside of this triangle. The working yarn should not pass through the center of the triangle.
Begin to work in the round by inserting the tip of the empty needle (needle 4) into the first cast-on stitch on needle 1. Knit this stitch. Be sure to pull this first stitch very tightly, as it will join your work.
Continue knitting across needle 1. When you have knit all of the stitches on this needle, rotate your work and begin knitting the stitches of needle 2 using the newly emptied needle.
When you reach the end of needle 2, rotate your work again and use the empty needle to knit the stitches on needle 3.
When you reach the end of needle 3, you have knit one complete round. Note the presence of your yarn tail, which indicates where your new round begins. Because it gets harder to see this tail as you knit more rounds, you can use a stitch marker to indicate the end of your round.
Recheck that your work is not twisted–the cast-on runs smoothly along the bottom edge of your work and does not loop over the needles at any point. Then continue to knit in a spiraling path around your work.
You have the chance to meet Norwegian Sweater Techniques author Therese Chynoweth. She’ll be offering a workshop at the Spring Midwest Masters classes April 29 through May 1 at Yarns by Design in Neenah, Wisconsin. On May 1, she’ll be teaching the class that inspired her book, Cutting Without Fear: Basic Norwegian Construction Techniques.
Decide how far up the seam from the bottom of the hem—and how wide at the bottom—you want the godet to be. There’s no rule about size here; experiment until you find the size you like. Try 6 inches high and 3 inches wide to start. Mark your jeans with the location of the godets.
Mark and cut two godets the size you want, plus seam allowance. Use the hem stitch of your choice to hem the godets. The bottom of the godet can be rounded or straight, or even have a point.
Today we are chatting with Jennifer Casa, the author of Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crafting with Kids.
Wiley Crafts: Tell us a little bit about your background as a crafter.
Jennifer Casa: I have always loved making things. My childhood memories are filled with the feeling that it’s fun to try new things — especially arts and crafts — whether it be mud pies in the backyard, string art, painting, stamping, sand art, pottery, sewing, etc. One could say it is a natural progression that I have been dabbling in some craft during my free time ever since. I made books using my own handmade papers and sold them in a nearby college town for a while, I was very active in a pottery co-op for a few years and a few galleries in the city featured my work, and I enjoyed taking classes and participating in workshops at the Cleveland Institute of Art. I like learning new techniques and experimenting with them in other areas. Nowadays, I do a lot of knitting and sewing, and I quite like to flip-flop designs from one form to the other. For me, arts and crafts is about the freedom to experiment, explore, and see what happens next.
WC: How has your crafting evolved since you became a mom?
JC: Becoming a mom has reminded me to embrace moments of magic in each day. I mention this in the book, and it bears repeating — kids are amazing teachers. They do what they do however they want to do it, and without fear of being judged. That is so awesome! Our dining room evolved into a fully functioning art room a few years ago and is now the hub of activity in our home. Everyone is always making something, and the warmth with which new creations are received is empowering. My crafting has evolved considerably over the past 6 years, and not simply because I have more time to do so. Creating with my kids is so inspiring, and making it a part of our daily lives benefits everyone. I know I am much more confident in what I do and make on my own, and I have my kids to thank for that.
WC: What’s a good age to get kids started with crafting? And what are some good types of projects to try with little ones?
JC: I think finger-painting is a great project to do with young kids — and a fun twist for the littlest ones (even in their high chairs) is to use vanilla pudding and a few drops of food coloring, or even food purees. What kid doesn’t love playing with their food? Follow their lead and be sure to take a few photos of them during the process — the expressions on their faces, detail shots of their hands at work, and of course the finished masterpieces. Print a series of the photos and start a simple portfolio for them! Another fun thing would be to upload an image of their work to have postcards or even postage stamps printed.
WC: What are some of your favorite projects to make with your girls?
JC: I asked my daughters first, who said they enjoy making musical instruments, sewing by hand, and playing with clay. Music is a big part of our lives, and so it’s no wonder they are always creating new instruments to play (usually from repurposed/recycled items). We’ll be making song books very soon for them to write down their lyrics — the books will be great keepsakes (as well as provide excellent writing practice). One of our girls recently made her own sewing cards by drawing animals on foam sheets and using a punch to make the holes. And the play dough recipe in the book is a favorite because the kids can do the entire process themselves, they take charge of measuring, mixing, and kneading, and then we all get to hang out and play together. They are at a great age (6) where they are enjoying their independence, but also really want me there, so I find it best to follow their lead. I also love cooking and baking with them, and oftentimes I will set out the ingredients and a recipe and then I become their sous chef. It’s great reading practice, as well as lots of fun for everyone.
WC: What inspires your own endeavors with crafting?
JC: With me, one thing typically leads to another. For example, I am working on some projects now that involve knitting and sewing. The fabrics inevitably inspire the colorwork for my knitting designs, and stitch patterns of a knit piece are evolving into sewn patchwork. I love to tear bits of images (particularly color and texture) and paste them in my sketchbooks as inspiration, which I then expand upon when I sketch. I also enjoy reading a variety of blogs and am blown away by other people’s creativity. Pinterest is quickly becoming a virtual inspiration board for me as well — as I find captivating images online, I am able to catalog them and their sources for later reference, or simply to swoon over. Since our kids are a big part of my everyday life, I tremendously inspired by them. I am planning to make as many of their summer clothes this year as I can, and one of my daughters has started to submit her personal design requests. It will be fun to see what develops!
You can read more about Jennifer’s adventures in crafting on her blog, JCasa*handmade.