Handmade Stay-Home Style for Your Pets

LoveMeKnitforMe-trafalgarbooksEven under less-than-ideal circumstances, spending some extra time at home can be a wonderful opportunity to develop closer connections, look after each other, and find comfort together. And that doesn’t just apply to the human members of the household! Our four-legged best friends make tough times more bearable—and it’s a pleasure to be able to give them a gift every now and then in return.

Celebrated Scandinavian knitting superstars Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison have given their dog Freja cameos in several of their books since she was a puppy, and they love making things for her. Their latest release ARNE & CARLOS FAVORITE DESIGNS collects the “best of the best”: 70 of their favorite techniques and patterns, drawn together from 15 years and 7 books’ worth of creative inspiration, plus 15 all-new projects, to create a uniquely beautiful sourcebook that has something for everyone …

… including Freja! The dog sweater pattern Arne and Carlos developed for Freja, featuring a ribbed turtleneck and classic Norwegian “crosses” and “rings,” plus rounds of charming crosshatched hearts, is presented in two sizes: one to fit the 13-pound Freja, and a larger version designed to fit her mother. (CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR FREE PATTERN, plus get Arne and Carlos’s tips for checking the sizing against your dog, and adjusting yarn weight to suit dogs who are even larger.)

And of course there’s no better book for dog lovers who knit than DOGS ON SWEATERS, from expert knitters and longtime dog enthusiasts Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. This book includes patterns for sweaters with dogs from 18 popular breeds, including Labradors, Beagles, Dalmatians, Pugs, Golden Retrievers, and more, for children and adults—plus instructions for customizing the “nearest fit” to depict your favorite rare breed or lovable mutt instead.

But a book about dogs on sweaters wouldn’t be complete without some dogs in sweaters! And Muir and Osborne took the time to work up a lovely fitted dog coat in five sizes, from Chihuahua to German Shepherd (so to speak)—which is also available for FREE from TSB! (CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR FREE PATTERN.)

Are you a cat person or a dog person—and is your beloved pet the type to put up with a snuggly coat or cowl, or not? Post your answer and tag us on Facebook (#TSBcrafts) or on Instagram (@trafalgarsquarecraftbooks), and you’ll be entered to win a FREE copy of your choice of either of these two titles. (As long as you’re within the US and over 18, that is.)

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

Stay-Home Stashbusting Crochet

Stay-Home Stashbusting Crochet

The siren song of a few brand-new skeins of yarn (or more than a few…) can be hard to resist. But as long as we’re all stuck steering clear of our favorite LYS for the sake of social distancing, that makes it the perfect time to dive back into our stashes and rediscover all the hidden treasures we haven’t quite managed to use up.

Learning how to crochet can make any stashbusting expedition a little easier: quick, fun crochet projects that use lots of different colors are everywhere. Potholders, dishtowels, amigurumi; crocheted flowers, crocheted hearts—or any other shape you like, strung together on a joining line of chain stitch for the world’s most charming handmade bunting. Turn the handful of leftover hanks you never thought you’d manage to use into delightful decorations or handy household accessories in a snap!

Some crochet patterns are specifically designed to be accessorized with all kinds of extra tidbits, perfect for those leftover ends a little too long to throw away but a little too short for most projects.

COLORFUL CROCHET features layered, flat, and spiraling crochet flowers, hearts, and butterflies that are easy to attach to hats, cowls, or mittens, or even the toes of slippers—or, of course, make a few dozen flowers in whatever colors you’ve got, joined together into a one-of-a-kind shawl.

Or maybe dishtowels and pillows are more your style? Try a striking striped pattern from CRAZY FOR CROCHET, adapted to whatever color selection you’ve got on hand; just make the stripes thicker for the yarns you’ve got more of, and thinner for the ones that are almost gone. (And if you’ve got a lot of variations in weight to worry about, try disguising the difference by holding a lighter yarn doubled, or working bobbles or popcorns that will change the texture anyway.)

But of course the most straightforward go-to choices of all for smaller amounts of yarn are crochet designs for babies. Baby patterns work up so quickly, and the more colors you’ve got, the better, brighter, and more interesting they’ll look! A collection like CROCHETED GIFTS FOR BABY is full of adorable toys, accessories, and other odds and ends that can easily be crocheted with stripes, spots, and zigzags—or multicolored eyes, legs, or tails, depending on the toy.

It’s always such a fantastic feeling to be able to put a long-stashed yarn to good use, and small, colorful crochet patterns make it easier than ever. And don’t hold back: what’s the oldest yarn you’ve got tucked away, and what have you been thinking about using it for? Tell us! Or share on your social page and tag us (for good measure).

COLORFUL CROCHET, CRAZY FOR CROCHET, and CROCHETED GIFTS FOR BABY are all available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

AND in April, order from us and we’ll send you a bonus book as a thank you for supporting small business in a time of need.

CLICK HERE to shop now.

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