Welcome to the Yarn Circus!

Welcome to the Yarn Circus!

knittingforthefunofit-trafalgarbooksKnitting’s never been so much fun…or so colorful!

“Welcome to my ‘yarn circus,'” says handcrafting designer Frida Pontén, “where ‘more is more’ is the only way!”

In her delightful new book KNITTING FOR THE FUN OF IT, you’ll be immersed in a strikingly vivid world where Pontén has brought some of her favorite patterns together (44 in all!) into a brilliant, eyecatching celebration of all things knitted. Whether you’re seeking an airy summer jacket, a cozy poncho for cool days, a warm striped scarf, funky wrist warmers, or stylish blankets, look forward to handknit designs that are sure to be a highlight of your home and wardrobe. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by full-color photos throughout.

The possibilities are endless. In fact, you might find yourself saying, as Pontén does, “So much yarn, so little time!”

KNITTING FOR THE FUN OF IT is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

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Did you know TSB has a Needle Points Loyalty Program? That’s right, we’ll pay you to order directly from us, the publisher! CLICK HERE to find out more.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Free Crocheted Chevron Blanket Pattern!

Free Crocheted Chevron Blanket Pattern!

The chevron is a V-shaped mark, often inverted, and commonly used in reference to architecture, or badges indicating rank or length of service in the military. It is a motif that has always generated a lot of interest in the world of crochet, because there are endless ways to vary it and use it in combination: the stripes can be steep or gentle, wide or narrow, alike or different. And the effect can be striking.

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If you haven’t worked the chevron pattern before, here is a chance to create a colorful blanket that is both an approachable introduction to the motif and a rewarding result. In their book CRAZY FOR CROCHET, Lily Secilie Brandal and Bente Myhrer provide this rendition of the classic pattern—easy to follow or to modify to better suit your style or mood.

CLICK HERE to download the FREE crocheted chevron blanket pattern from CRAZY FOR CROCHET.

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And for 70 more crochet projects you’ll love to make, take a look at the book CRAZY FOR CROCHET. Everything you need to get started crocheting is in this collection: clear, detailed guidance through the basics, dozens of helpful photographs, and patterns for every skill level, from scarves and blankets to socks and slippers, from hats and pillows to lampshades and clutches.

CLICK HERE for more information about the book.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Crochet That Feels GOOD

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So much about the world right now is stress-inducing—the technology, the political environment, the anger and tribalism coursing through social media. The thought of making instead of breaking, of quieting the mind rather than getting all fired up, and of feeling GOOD instead of down and blue has immense appeal.

Numerous studies have named activities such as crochet and knitting as a key to stress relief and as a means to counter depression. Kathryn Vercillo, author of Crochet Saved My Life and Hook to Heal, and writer at SimplyCrochet.com, says, “Crochet has been proven to reduce stress among all ages of people. It’s a low cost, easy, fun activity that you can do almost anywhere, allowing you to make the most of its benefits whenever stress strikes…. When I conducted my survey of 10,000+ crafters about the benefits of crochet, 89% of those surveyed said that they crochet to help with stress and / or gain the benefits of relaxation through crafting.”

TSB believes that busy hands, quiet time, and creativity are important to our well-being, which is why we have published instructional craft books for over 25 years. We have dozens of highly illustrated how-to titles in our online bookstore (check them out HERE).

Our newest addition to our craft list is a sunny introduction to the beauties of textured crochet! Author May Britt Bjella Zamori is firmly in love with the possibilities of dynamic openwork, playing with yarn weight, and crochet that’s sturdy and eyecatching at the same time. In her truly lovely book CAREFREE CROCHET, you’ll find soft, enticing crochet pieces for both summer and winter use. There are both big and small projects, like scarves and accessories, long and short vests, blankets and cushions. Zamori uses heavy, cozy yarns for long-sleeved sweaters and light, drapey yarns for dresses and skirts.

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Ideal for all skill levels and with step-by-step instructions, these projects are a real treat! So if you are ready to feel good and think crochet might be a way to make you happy, don’t be shy…give it a try.

Carefree CrochetCAREFREE CROCHET is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Knit in Public and You Could Win!

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Nina Granlund Sæther, author of MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY.

In case you somehow haven’t heard yet, Saturday, June 9, 2018, is World Wide Knit in Public Day. That’s right, it is 24 hours devoted to clicking needles in unlikely places. I mean, you probably do it already, right? You have your knitting in the passenger seat on your commute to work “just in case” a lane closure causes some lengthy delays. You bring it along to soccer practice, and rely on its calming qualities in those frustrating work meetings. WWKIPDay is just a super-good excuse to knit one, purl two between subway stops. This is a case where you want EVERYONE to be looking!

header-logo2This is what the WWKIPDay website says about what it calls the “largest knitter-run event in the world”: “World Wide Knit in Public Day was started in 2005 by Danielle Landes. It began as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Knitting is such a solitary act that it’s easy to knit alone somewhere and sink into your work without thinking about all the other knitters out there. Neighbors could spend all their lives never knowing that the other knits. This a specific day to get out of your house and go to a local event (with your knitting in tow) just for you and people like you.  Who knows, you might even bump into your neighbor! Consider this a spark, to ignite a fire; getting all of the closeted knitters out into fresh air.”

Mittens Around Norway FinalWe at TSB want to know where YOU knit this WWKIPDay. Post a picture and tag our Facebook (@trafalgarsquarecraftbooks), Twitter (@TSBCrafts), or Instagram (@trafalgarsquarecraftbooks) account and you’ll be automatically entered to win* a copy of Nina Granlund Sæther’s bestselling book MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY. That’s right, we want to award you for doing what you like best. So don’t hide in your house this Saturday! Get out there and knit for all you’re worth.

We look forward to sharing where we knit in public, and seeing where you do!

Nina Granlund Sæther’s book MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY is also available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

 

*Must be 18+ and have a US address to enter.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

 

Why We Knit

Why We Knit

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Donna Druchunas is a writer and knitwear designer with passions for knitting, world travel, and research. She has been visiting Lithuania, where her great-grandparents were born, every year since 2007. She has also been designing knitwear and writing for over a decade and is the author of award-winning knitting books, including TSB’s THE ART OF LITHUANIAN KNITTING. Druchunas teaches knitting throughout the world, holds retreats at her private studio in a 150-year old farmhouse in Vermont, and owns Sheep to Shawl Knitting Studio and Store.

In THE ART OF LITHUANIAN KNITTING, the book she co-wrote with June Hall, Druchunas begins an exploration of where and how we knit, with the reasons why we knit. Here’s what she says:

Every year as I was growing up, I learned a new craft and left the others behind. Knitting came first, then crochet, embroidery, needlepoint, weaving, beading, decoupage, and candle making. When I was in third grade, I learned how to sew, and I spent the next ten years making all of my own clothes.

When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I stopped doing crafts altogether, because I’d started working in a department store and it was just as cheap to buy my clothes as it had been to make them. As we all know, knitting today is no bargain. Our craft is not about frugality—or even about the need to keep warm—but about creativity, charity, and meditation. 

 I started knitting and crocheting again when I was thirty-five, a year or so after both of my grandmothers passed away in the same year. I don’t know why I suddenly became interested in these crafts, when I hadn’t picked up a hook or needles in twenty-five years. Maybe I needed a way to stay connected to my grandmothers after they were gone. Soon after I made my first sweater, I discovered books about knitting. I encountered pattern collections, new and familiar techniques, and stories about knitting and yarn. At first, I promised myself that I would knit at least three projects from any book before allowing myself to buy another, but soon my voracious reading habit took over and I started spending as much on books as I did on yarn. As I read through the books I purchased, I discovered that historical and ethnic knitting techniques grabbed my attention most.

Knitting is fascinating not only because it is beautiful and functional, but also because each stitch infuses a hand-knit project with the story of its maker and details about the time and place in which it was made. The materials and stitches chosen tell us about what yarns and patterns were available to the knitter, the gauge and evenness of the stitching tells us about her skill level, and the wear (or lack thereof) on the knitting gives us clues about whether it was made for everyday use or just for special occasions.

Art of Lithuanian KnittingUltimately, I believe that what makes the knitting of Lithuania—or any place—special is the spirit of the people and the soul of the place.

 

THE ART OF LITHUANIAN KNITTING is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft titles, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont. 

Meet Crochet Designer Therese Hagstedt

Meet Crochet Designer Therese Hagstedt

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Therese Hagstedt, known to her Instagram and blog followers as TipsyTessie, lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she is an all-around crafter, as well as an accomplished photographer specializing in weddings, children, artwork, interior design/decorating, books, and craft projects. TSB is proud to have published her bright and delightful pattern book COLORFUL CROCHET in the English language.

As well as designing, crocheting, knitting, and running her professional photography business, Hagstedt is a senior research scientist for a pharmaceutical company, a wife, and mother to two sons. She also loves cooking and yoga, and practicing a “healthy lifestyle” is very important to her.

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Photo by Therese Hagstedt

Hagstedt finds inspiration in everyday life. “I see a color combination or a pattern that I like and instantly try to translate it to knitting or crochet project,” she says. “That is the process that is ongoing in my head, all the time, everywhere. Also I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, which has almost become an everyday addiction.”

With an aim to inspire and design crafts that are modern and fresh for today, and to convince people that “colors make you happy,” Hagstedt doesn’t have a specific workspace. “I have a desk where I sometimes sit and work, but I get inspired everywhere in life, and my different projects are usually all over the place in our home,” she admits. “I really like to try an idea that I have immediately, so I need access to my crafting things all the time. It’s organized chaos, maybe?”

And what’s her favorite thing to make?

ColorfulCrochet“I really, really love doing granny squares,” Hagstedt says. “I think it is the endless possibilities with different combinations and that you can start with a project or idea and you don’t know what it will be in the end. Sometimes I just want to try an idea and then it ends up as something completely different than it was from the start.”

You can find Hagstedt’s granny squares, and other wonderful projects for crocheters of all levels in COLORFUL CROCHET, available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

We’re in Bloom! Get Your FREE Double Knitting Blossoms Pattern

We’re in Bloom! Get Your FREE Double Knitting Blossoms Pattern

If it weren’t for the itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and sinus headache, this would be my favorite time of the year 🙂 Allergies aside, what can beat the exuberance of newborn blossoms when the air warms a little bit and the sun lingers just long enough?

We’d like to celebrate our current state of BLOOM with a FREE knitting pattern from our terrific book KNITTING DOUBLE. This six-sided potholder with romantic blossoms is a great “small” project to try mastering this technique, resulting in a “Happy Spring!” or Mother’s Day gift, or maybe just an airy floral addition to your own kitchen.

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When you work double knitting, two layers of fabric are worked at the same time, each with a different color. The two layers are attached, and the resulting fabric has two right sides and no visible wrong side. How cool is that? The projects in KNITTING DOUBLE can be turned over or inside out (if knitted in the round), and there are two “good” sides (you can never have too many “good” sides!).

Knitting Double Final300As you knit, both sets of stitches are on the same needle. You always knit one stitch for the front layer then purl the following stitch for the back layer. Complete directions are available in this FREE PATTERN DOWNLOAD.

CLICK HERE for the Romantic Blossom Potholder Pattern from KNITTING DOUBLE. We promise THESE flowers won’t make you sneeze!

Happy spring, everyone!

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.