Meet Knit Designer Lumi Karmitsa

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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Brand New Pattern Book: Winter Knits from Scandinavia

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There’s nothing quite as cozy as multicolor stranded knitting—and with quick, fun projects, clear instructions, and easy-to-follow charts, it’s never been simpler! In WINTER KNITS FROM SCANDINAVIA, knit designer Jenny Alderbrant has collected 24 of her best-loved patterns for mittens, hats, and socks, with dozens of colors and delightful motifs that’ll keep you warm all winter long.

Try out time-tested classics like flowers and starry snowflakes, or get creative with cats, butterflies, and more! Featuring easy-to-adjust sizes, for children and adults, and eye-catching designs to suit every taste, from traditional Scandinavian and Christmas patterns to unique renditions of snails, foxes, and happy tulips. Pick your own favorite colors, add pompoms, and work faux-cabled brims, ribbed cuffs, or picot edges with these wild and wonderful winter knits.

 

Winter Knits from ScandinaviaWINTER KNITS FROM SCANDINAVIA is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to order.

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

The Best Craft Books of 2018

The Best Craft Books of 2018

We may not be huddled in Times Square (yet), but we’re well outfitted for the cold with all the hand-knit and hand-crocheted garments and accessories we’ve made this year. And the source of inspiration? The amazingly talented authors of our craft books! We are so proud to publish these innovative creatives from around the world, and we have a whole lot more exciting ideas for makers in store. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a quick look back at the books we published in 2018.

Our Year in Craft Books: 2018

 

Faroe Island KnitsFaroe Island Knits (January)

The Faroe Islands, a far-flung archipelago lying halfway between Norway and Iceland, have a rich and longstanding knitting tradition—knitting was once one of their largest export industries, as well as a dearly-loved pastime. Now, inspired by this bountiful heritage, knit designer Svanhild Strøm and her mother Marjun Biskopstø have brought contemporary style and classic Faroese motifs together in this striking collection of 52 traditional Faroese designs on hats, sweaters, ponchos, slippers, and more.

 

Knitting with Beads Made EasyKnitting with Beads Made Easy (February)

It’s never been easier to knit with beads! From pretty pearls to classic silver or gleaming glass, beads are the perfect way to add a little glitz and glamour to any knitted project-and knit designers Liv Asplund and Jane Asprusten have finally made it as simple as it sounds. Using their straightforward technique, novices and veterans alike can take their pick of dozens of gloves, hats, headbands, wrist warmers, bags, and scarves, in thin yarn or thick, with small beads or large, and craft fun and fancy accessories in style.

 

Medieval-Inspired Knits PBMedieval-Inspired Knits (March)

Now in paperback! Inspired by the richly decorated interiors of medieval churches in the province of Uppland, Sweden, this gorgeous book is a visual playground for the knitter. Author, graphic artist, and hand-knit designer Anna-Karin Lundberg provides a stunning photographic glimpse into her country’s creative and religious history while explaining her own fascination with the motifs, colors, and shapes of the Middle Ages. Lundberg then seamlessly translates the luxurious swirling vine patterns, graceful borders, and exciting color combinations from dozens of dramatic mural paintings and period textiles into sumptuous modern-day knits anyone can wear.

 

ArneCarlosFavoriteDesignsArne & Carlos Favorite Designs (April)

Knitters, crocheters, felters—crafters from all over the world have learned to look to the dynamic Scandinavian design duo and style influencers Arne & Carlos for what to make next. Over 15 years and 7 uniquely beautiful instructional books, Arne & Carlos have built their brand, from breakout phenomenon to reliable supplier of how-to information and creative inspiration. Now they have gathered their pick of the “Best of the Best”– 70 of their favorite techniques and patterns from their previous books and pet projects: balls, dolls, birds, slippers, sweaters, scarves, mittens, and more–and combined them in one glorious, highly illustrated package. There is something here for everyone, whether hardcore fan or neophyte: Arne & Carlos not only share their greatest hits in fresh and exciting ways, they also provide 15 never-before-seen projects.

 

Carefree CrochetCarefree Crochet (May)

May Britt Bjella Zamori is firmly in love with the possibilities of dynamic openwork, playing with yarn weight, and crochet that’s easy and undeniably wearable at the same time. In this fabulous collection, you’ll find soft, lovely crochet pieces for both summer and winter use; big and small projects like scarves, short and long vests; heavy, cozy yarns for long-sleeved sweaters and light, drapey yarns for dresses and skirts; plus cushions, accessories, blankets, and so much more.

 

Knitting for the Fun of ItKnitting for the Fun of It (June)

Get ready to be immersed in the strikingly vivid world of handcrafting designer Frida Pontén, who’s brought some of her favorite patterns together, 44 in all into a brilliant celebration of all things knitted. Whether you’re seeking an airy summer jacket, a cozy poncho for cool days, a warm striped scarf, enchanting wrist warmers, or fun and funky blankets, look forward to breathtaking designs that are sure to be a highlight of your home or wardrobe.

 

Fave Scan Proj Weave PB CoverFavorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave (August)

45 timeless designs specially chosen from the popular Scandinavian weaving magazine Vävmagasinet offer all the help and inspiration you need to create a delightful and unique focal point for any room in your home. Each pattern is intentionally versatile: choose from a wide array of fabrics to suit your individual style; change the size and color of blankets, pillows, and rugs to complement a room’s décor; or match the color of table linen to your favorite china.

 

Wild Mittens and Unruly SocksWild Mittens and Unruly Socks (September)

Review some of the basic techniques of working with multiple colors to help you find your footing, and then get ready–get set–and go wild! With fierce tigers, brilliant peonies, looming giraffes, cute Chihuahuas, and creeping jellyfish, this collection of over 20 different stranded patterns for socks and mittens is bursting with inspiration.

 

Easy Cable and Aran KnitsEasy Cable and Aran Knits (October)

This stunning collection features 26 luxurious projects with all the delight of classic textured cable patterns, plus renowned designer Martin Storey’s trademark contemporary appeal. With a versatile range of garments–including scarves, hats, mittens, shrugs, sweaters, and more–this book provides a unique opportunity to expand your repertoire of stitch patterns.

 

Big 3 Knitting TechniquesThe Big 3 Knitting Techniques (October)

Ann-Mari Nilsson’s comprehensive pattern treasury covers the “big three” knitting design techniques, from easy to challenging: multi-color, slip stitch, and relief stitch. 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 for pattern knitting, and work your choice of accessory with whichever design you like best.

 

Beaded Wrist Warmers from LithuaniaBeaded Wrist Warmers from Lithuania (November)

Beaded wrist warmers are a vital, beloved, and beautiful part of Lithuanian traditional costume. That’s how Irena Felomena Juškienė discovered them: As a member of a group of artists dedicated to classic Lithuanian dance and music, she wore them during performances. When she decided to explore the roots of these knitted accessories, Irena found they were a fascinating part of the regional history and culture of Lithuania. The results of her journey have now been brought together in a compilation of beaded knitting patterns that spans centuries, dialects, and multiple museum collections.

 

Winter Knits from ScandinaviaWinter Knits from Scandinavia (December)

Knit designer Jenny Alderbrant has collected 24 of her best-loved patterns for mittens, hats, and socks, with dozens of colors and delightful motifs that’ll keep you warm all winter long. Try out time-tested classics like flowers and starry snowflakes, or get creative with cats, butterflies, and more! Featuring easy-to-adjust sizes, for children and adults, and eye-catching designs to suit every taste.

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Our very best wishes for a safe, peaceful, and very happy New Year.

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

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.

Warm Your Wrists This Winter

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Beaded wrist warmers are a vital, beloved, and beautiful part of Lithuanian traditional costume. That’s how Irena Felomena Juškienė discovered them: As a member of a group of artists dedicated to classic Lithuanian dance and music, she wore them during performances. When she decided to explore the roots of these knitted accessories, Irena found they were a fascinating part of the regional history and culture of Lithuania. The results of her journey have now been brought together in a compilation of beaded knitting patterns that spans centuries, dialects, and multiple museum collections.

In her new book BEADED WRIST WARMERS FROM LITHUANIA, Irena shares over 60 designs organized according to their place of origin within the current and historical borders of Lithuania. Projects are presented with straightforward instructions and easy-to-follow charts, along with full-color photographs of sample wrist warmer pairs. In addition, readers will find thoroughly researched discussions of the origins of wrist warmers in each region, a catalog of further historical examples of the craft, and personal accounts shared by local contributors.

Watch the book trailer here:

BEADED WRIST WARMERS FROM LITHUANIA is available now 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.

Get Great Savings All Weekend from Our Online Bookstore!

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Thanksgiving is over…let the shopping begin! At TSB, we’ve joined the Black Friday (Etc) Party by kicking off a big, end-of-the-year sale today, and it will run straight through Small Business Saturday (did you know TSB has a staff of SEVEN?), and (why not?) Cyber Monday, to boot. Just visit our online bookstore at TrafalgarBooks.com and enter code TSBHAPPY at checkout to buy one item, then receive 30% off all additional items! Plus, we offer FREE SHIPPING in the US. (Yippee!)

Have a crafter in your family? TSB has amazing books to choose from. Here are 5 of our top sellers of 2018:

ARNE & CARLOS FAVORITE DESIGNS by Arne & Carlos

 

FAROE ISLAND KNITS by Svanhild Strøm and Marjun Biskopstø

 

JORID LINVIK’S BIG BOOK OF KNITTED SOCKS by Jorid Linvik

 

CAREFREE CROCHET by May Britt Bjella Zamori

 

EASY CABLE & ARAN KNITS by Martin Storey

 

Looking for something else? CLICK HERE to browse our online bookstore.

Happy shopping, with your favorite makers in mind!

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

5 Amazing Crochet Tips

 

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All of us benefit from those who have a touch more experience or a tad more exposure to a specific technique—that is, we do when they share their knowledge! And that, of course, is what is so fabulous about crochet and knitting technique books: They not only collect cool ideas and patterns in one place, they usually include some hard-won tips, tricks, and sage advice, to boot.

Here are 5 amazing crochet tips you might not have heard yet, gathered from books we are proud to have published.

CROCHET TIP 1
Working in the round? Whether you’re crocheting or knitting, make it easy for yourself by placing a marker of yarn in a contrast color every few rounds—not just one in the first round, or one you have to keep moving up for each new round! Tip from CROCHET IN BLACK & WHITE by Constanze Diehl-Hupfer and Magdalena Melzer.

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From Crochet in Black & White by Constanze Diehl-Hupfer and Magdalena Melzer

 

Crochet Tip 2
When you’re crocheting granny squares in multiple colors, it’s a good idea to begin a new color at a corner—and to begin the next new color at a different corner, so the square’s as even as possible. Catching the old color and covering it as you go means you won’t have to weave in ends later! Tip from KNIT-AND-CROCHET GARDEN by Arne & Carlos.

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From Knit-and-Crochet Garden by Arne & Carlos.

 

Crochet Tip 3
Working slip stitch through some eyelets? If you’re having trouble seeing the holes where your slip stitches need to go, try sliding a knitting needle into the holes to open them up and help you find them. Tip from CLASSIC CROCHET THE MODERN WAY by Tove Fevang.

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From Classic Crochet the Modern Way by Tove Fevang.

 

CROCHET TIP 4 
It’s easy to work a crochet edging onto just about any piece of knitting or loosely woven fabric! You can even work onto something more closely woven—either by embroidering a base of blanket stitch at the edge and then crocheting along that, or by using fine yarn and a small hook with a pointy head to pierce holes along the edge. Tip from CROCHET WORKSHOP by Emma Seddon and Sharon Brant.

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From Crochet Workshop by Emma Seddon and Sharon Brant

 

CROCHET TIP 5
It’s easy to starch things that need to hold their shape—and to unstarch them, if they end up too stiff! 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, boiled in 2/3 of a cup of water until transparent, can be swiped onto a completed piece of knitting or crochet with a pastry brush; and if you put too much on, you can always rinse a little starch back out with running water. Tip from TAPESTRY CROCHET AND MORE by Maria Gullberg.

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From Tapestry Crochet and More by Maria Gullberg

 

You can visit the entire TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE, by CLICKING HERE.

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