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.

The Decade in Craft Books

The Decade in Craft Books

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Here we are on the cusp of not only a new year but a whole new decade. This gives us a chance to look back across the last 10 years and consider what we’ve done with our time…

Here at TSB, we’ve published a whole lotta craft books.

We are so lucky to be able to work with the talented fiber-craft artists and designers who write our books! Thank you to each and every one of them for partnering with us in the production of quality education for the crafting community.

And so, let’s consider the decade in craft books.

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And we’ve had many highlights along the way:

2010: Knitting Motifs for Babies and Kids by Lucinda Guy

2011: 55 Christmas Balls to Knit by Arne & Carlos (over 100,000 sold)

2012: 300+ Mosaic Tips, Techniques, Templates, and Trade Secrets by Bonnie Fitzgerald

2013: Learn to Weave with Anne Field (Anne Field died on May 29, 2013, as she was doing the final edits on the book. Her drive and determination to finish it, even though she was very ill, is a reflection of her passion for weaving.)

2014: Viking Knits and Ancient Ornaments by Elsebeth Lavold

2015: Bonnie Fitzgerald’s Guide to Mosaic Techniques 

2016: Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Mittens

2017: Mittens from Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther

2018: Faroe Island Knits by Svanhild Strøm and Marjun Biskopstø and Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs

2019: Selbu Mittens by Anne Bårdsgård 

And thank you to all our readers, who choose to support great authors, small companies, and are always striving to learn one more thing to be better at their craft.

Happy New Decade,

The TSB Staff

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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.

Visit Us at the Fiber Festival of New England!

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We hope you’re headed to the Fiber Festival of New England this weekend, November 2 and 3, 2019, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA! Doors are open on Saturday from 9-5 pm and Sunday from 9-3 pm, and TSB will be there.

Come visit our booth at 281 West in the Mallary Complex. You’ll have a chance to browse and buy all our newest knitting, crochet, and weaving books, view sample projects, and sign up to win a $50 gift certificate to shop at the TSB online bookstore!

Don’t miss this chance to turn the pages of our hottest new craft titles:

Traditional Danish Sweaters by Vivian Høxbro

Traditional Danish Sweaters

 

Lace Knitting by Denise Samson

Lace Knitting

 

Selbu Mittens by Anne Bårdsgård

Selbu Mittens

 

Cable Knits from Nordic Lands by Ivar Asplund

Cable Knits from Nordic Lands

More than 200 more New England exhibitors will be showcasing their products, including yarn, clothing, quilts, blankets, rugs, looms, spinning wheels, and more. Workshops on felting, spinning, punch needle, Tunisian crochet, and rug hooking will be held both days.

In addition to being an ideal holiday shopping opportunity, Fiber Festival of New England is a great educational experience for visitors, with the bonus of getting to learn how animals contribute to the fiber industry! Come meet the llamas, alpacas, sheep, and rabbits at the event. Sheep shearing demos will take place all weekend.

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If you can’t make it to West Springfield, please visit our online bookstore for great holiday gift ideas for the fiber artist or yarn lover in your life.

CLICK HERE to shop our bookstore now.

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

 

Join TSB at VT Sheep & Wool Festival, Saturday and Sunday, September 29-30!

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TSB’s crafty contingent is excited to set up the TSB booth at the 30th Annual Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival, which is happening this weekend, September 29 & 30, 2018 at the historic Tunbridge Fairgrounds in Tunbridge, Vermont. The festival is open from 10am to 5 pm on Saturday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Come enjoy the animal barn, shop the Festival Marketplace, try a fiber arts class or a shepherding workshop, plus many other vendor demos and activities. In addition, there’s a very cool onsite stitch-marker swap! Bring markers that you have made or bought and swap with other stitch marker swappers!

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Here’s how it works:

  • Visit the Vendor Pavilion and pick up a map of all the vendors who are participating.
  • Wear the button given to you to identify yourself as a swapper.
  • Visit any/all participating vendors to swap markers.
  • Look for other people wearing a button and swap with them.
  • Meet up with other swappers at noon both days, just inside the door of the Vendor Pavilion.

TSB has free handmade stitch markers for all who visit our booth located outside the Pavilion Building under the overhang #8. Stop by and say hello, tell us what you are working on, and sign up to win a $50.00 gift certificate to our online bookstore. Check out beautiful sample projects from our newest books, plus we’ll have copies of all our biggest hits and bestselling backlist available for sale.

 

See you in Tunbridge this weekend!

 

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

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.

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.

Join TSB in Celebrating Local Yarn Store Day, Saturday, April 21, 2018!

Join TSB in Celebrating Local Yarn Store Day, Saturday, April 21, 2018!

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What’s better than spending an hour or two immersing our creative senses in colorfully spun skeins of wool, mohair, alpaca, and silk? Maybe having a pleasant conversation with a like-minded individual who is equally at peace as she roams, in search of a specific shade or texture…perhaps asking a question of a helpful staff member nearby, or complimenting the handknit sweater she proudly models?

Many of us count down the days to our monthly, maybe even weekly trips to our local yarn stores where we’ve nurtured friendships with staff and fellow customers; where we’ve relished the chance to get up-close-and-personal with the materials that bring our handmade projects to life; where gatherings, lectures, and demonstrations have educated us and many others. When we shop at our local yarn store, we know our hard-earned dollars are going to support the local economy, that they are helping our communities remain vibrant and diverse in their social and commercial offerings, and they are ensuring crafting, making, and using one’s hands—in both traditional and innovative ways—has a future in a world dominated by technology and voice activation.

Local Yarn Store Day (#LYSDay) is a brick-and-mortar yarn shop appreciation day created by TNNA Yarn Group (www.tnna.org). The inaugural LYS Day will take place on April 21, 2018, and is designed to show support for small businesses while bringing together a unique community of knitters, crocheters, weavers, and spinners to drive awareness and celebrate the craft.

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One of our local yarn stores!

Are you a fiber artist? Do you enjoy knitting or crocheting in your downtime? This is your chance to celebrate everything you love about yarn and help others learn to enjoy it, too. Bring a friend to your local yarn shop on April 21! Take pictures at your favorite store and share them on social media. Spread your passion for creating far and wide while supporting the business just down the road.

As an added bonus, Local Yarn Store Day will feature items from your favorite yarn companies and designers that will only be available at brick-and-mortar local yarn shops (not online). So make your plan now to visit your local yarn store on Saturday!

We’re thrilled to say these participating yarn shops carry Trafalgar Square Craft Books:

Monarch Knitting (Pacific Grove, CA)

The Woolery (Frankfort, KY)

Mother of Purl Yarn Shop (Freeport, ME)

WEBs-America’s Yarn Store (Northampton, MA)

Harriet & Alice (Edina, MN)

Amazing Threads (Maple Grove, MN)

StevenBe (Minneapolis, MN)

The Yarnery (Saint Paul, MN)

Knitty City (New York, NY)

The Tinsmith’s Wife (Comfort, TX)

Blazing Needles (Salt Lake City, UT)

Laughing Sheep Yarns (Charlottesville, VA)

PinchKnitter Yarns (Stanwood, WA)

The Sow’s Ear (Verona, WI)

 

Happy Local Yarn Store Day 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.