Meet Knit Designer Lumi Karmitsa

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Visit Lumi Karmitsa @lumikarmitsadesign on Facebook!

In September, TSB released WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS by Lumi Karmitsa, an addictive collection of stranded knitting patterns with funky cool motifs that are sure to stand out in a crowd. This month, we had a chance to ask the designer a little about her life in Finland and what inspires her.

“All Finnish children used to learn the basics of knitting at school, and so did I,” Karmitsa said. “However, I was never into knitting, until one day, out of the blue, I decided to knit a pair of stranded mittens for a friend. I found a nice pattern and followed it. The end result was pleasing enough, and this first introduction to colorwork knitting made me realize that I could design my own patterns. A few years later my first knitting book was published! Surprisingly, it was a sensation in Finnish knitting society and allowed me to become a full-time knitwear designer.

“I now live a secluded life in a little house in a small village with my Chihuahua mix, Caleb,” she went on. “As well as being the most agreeable and handsome fellow on the planet, Caleb is also a professional model. He poses in both my books!”

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“My hobbies include taking super long walks with Caleb, writing, reading, renovating, drawing, painting, and indulging in any kind of activities that result in a more beautiful world. I work at home in my tiny old house. In the winter there’s a fire in the fireplace; in summertime, I often knit in the shadow of an apple tree. Wherever I choose to sit and knit, that’s where I sit and knit—until Caleb decides to leave my lap.

“Sometimes I’m inspired by what is right in front of me (Caleb is portrayed in my Chihuahua mittens and socks). However, most of the time there is no obvious source of inspiration, just hard work thinking and trying what might work. Every piece is first my favorite, then my enemy, and when it’s finished, it is my favorite again—until it’s time for a new piece to go through the same process!”

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We asked Karmitsa what she would say her happiest knitting memory was. “Signing the publishing contract of my first knitting book,” was her reply, “and later on hearing the book was gonna go all the way to the United States!”

Wild Mittens and Unruly SocksWe have to say, we’re thrilled her book made it all the way here, too! WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

 

Enjoy this knitting tip from Lumi Karmitsa:

When following a colorwork chart in a book, attach a piece of paper to the page with a paperclip or a hairpin, covering the part of the chart you haven’t knitted yet. Move the paper to reveal a row at a time. This way your eyes find the right row immediately and your risk of errors decreases.

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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Knitting Patterns That WOW!

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All knitters already have the ingredients they need to succeed with stranded knitting: a few colors they love, a set of needles, and the courage to give it a try—plus, of course, a quick, fun pattern they just can’t put down!

WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS by Lumi Karmitsa is as fun as the title suggests. It is full of WOW-worthy patterns, including fierce tigers, brilliant peonies, looming giraffes, cute Chihuahuas, and creeping jellyfish. With over twenty different stranded patterns for socks and mittens, the book is positively bursting with inspiration.

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“All Finnish children used to learn the basics of knitting at school, and so did I,” says Karmitsa. “However, I was never into knitting, until one day, out of the blue, I decided to knit a pair of stranded mittens for a friend. I found a nice pattern and followed it. The end result was pleasing enough, and this first introduction to colorwork knitting made me realize that I could design my own patterns.

“My firm belief is that with some patience anyone can do stranded knitting. That is the whole message of WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS, since I myself started to design its contents with only the experience of just one pair of stranded mittens!”

WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE. (It’s the most fun you’ve ever had with your knitting needles!)

CLICK HERE form more information or to order.

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

Need-to-Know Knitting: The 3 Must-Have Pattern Techniques

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Hats, mittens, slippers, jackets, vests—everything’s better with patterning! Internationally recognized knitting expert Ann-Mari Nilsson’s comprehensive pattern treasury THE BIG 3 KNITTING TECHNIQUES covers the patterns you need to know. The book includes basic templates for a wide variety of garments; mix and match with whatever catches your eye from the library of over 80 charts, working your choice of accessory with whichever design you like best.

“I’ve chosen three methods of patterning that range from easy to more difficult,” says Nilsson. “Relief-stitch patterns (also called surface or structure patterns), designs with slipped stitches, and two-color stranded knitting.”

Big 3 Knitting Techniques1  Relief-stitch patterns produce a fine and supple garment and consist of knit and purl stitches in a single color. You must knit firmly so the pattern is clearly visible—usually after you have soaked and blocked it.

2  Slip-stitch patterns are worked with two or more colors, but only one color per row. On the row with Color 1, slip the Color 2 stitches to the right needle without knitting them; on the row knitted with Color 2, slip the stitches of Color 1 to the right needle. It’s easy and fun and the result looks much more complicated than it actually is.

3  Classic two-color stranded knitting produces warm and sturdy garments. It’s worked in stockinette stitch with two strands of yarn in different colors that run parallel as you work. If there are long color sections in the design, you have to twist the two yarns around each other on the back (wrong side) of the fabric at least every third stitch, or sometimes every other stitch to catch the yarn not in use.

With these skills in hand, you can follow designs with fabulous results, or combine motifs and knit your own unique creations!

THE BIG 3 KNITTING TECHNIQUES is available now from TSB’s online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

 

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine craft and equestrian 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Want Neat-n-Pretty Knitted Edges? Here’s How!

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Slipped edge stitches are used on garment pieces that won’t be sewn together (front edges, button and buttonhole bands, the long edges of scarves and shawls). Choose your edge stitch technique wisely, and your edges will be pretty and distinctive—and even hold up better over time!

Check out these knitted edge techniques from KNITTING DETAILS FROM START TO FINISH, the knitting handbook that answers the questions you never even knew you needed to ask!

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↑ Garter stitch. The first stitch in each row is knitted through the back loop; the last stitch is slipped purlwise with yarn in front.

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↑ Garter stitch. The first stitch in each row is slipped purlwise with yarn in front; the last stitch is knitted.

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↑ Garter stitch. The last two stitches in each row are slipped purlwise with yarn in front; the first two stitches are knitted. (This makes a particularly good edging for scarves!)

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↑ Garter stitch. On right side, slip the second stitch from the edge with yarn behind; purl on wrong side. Knit the outermost stitch at each side on every row. (This edging works well for scarves—and also for button and buttonhole bands!)

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↑ K1, p1 ribbing. The second stitch from the edge is a foldline stitch, and makes the edge look clean and tidy.

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↑ K2, p2 ribbing. The third stitch from the edge is a foldline stitch, which stabilizes the edge.

 

Knitting DetailsFor more sample swatches, tips, and tricks, check out KNITTING DETAILS FROM START TO FINISH, available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

 

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

 

An Easter Treat from Arne & Carlos: Free Egg Cozy Sweater Pattern!

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Arne & Carlos (Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison), Norwegian and Swedish respectively, established their design company ARNE & CARLOS in 2002. Drawing on their traditional Scandinavian influences and their natural environment, they create original and visually striking knitwear, and work with such prestigious international fashion designers as Comme des Garçons.

We at TSB have been privileged to be able to publish the complete library of pattern and idea books from Arne & Carlos. Over 15 years and 7 uniquely beautiful instructional books, this dynamic duo has built its brand, from breakout phenomenon to reliable supplier of how-to information and creative inspiration. What’s coming? Their pick of the “Best of the Best”– 70 of their favorite techniques and patterns from their previous books and pet projects, plus 15 never-before-seen patterns in ARNE & CARLOS FAVORITE DESIGNS, available to order in April 2018.

But until then, how about a little A&C fix from their delightful classic EASTER KNITS? It includes novel, handmade Easter ornaments, decorations, and dolls—small projects with the unique Arne & Carlos twist. As an Easter treat, please enjoy this FREE pattern: Their Egg Cozy Sweaters! Click on the link below to download the pattern instructions.

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We wish everyone a wonderful weekend of family, friends, and springtime.

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We have a few copies of EASTER KNITS still in stock and available to order from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE!

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

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