Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cat's Year Long Afghan Class is almost here!

2011 was the first year that we offered Cat's afghan class and it was a total success! We are super excited to announce that the 2012 Afghan class is about to begin. This class is good for beginning crocheters and it is free! That's right - one year of amazing crochet and tunisian crochet instruction for free - you just have to purchase your yarn for the afghan here at Fancy Tiger Crafts to enroll.

 Each month you will meet for a 2 hour class and Cat will show you a new stitch that you will use to make a new square for your afghan. By the end of the year, you will have 12 amazing and different squares to stitch together into a finished project. Don't worry - she'll show you that part too.

Stop by the store and we can help you pick out the perfect yarn for your afghan and get you all signed up. For more info on dates and times, click here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fancy Tiger Crafts is About to Get Even More Amazing!

We are super excited about our upcoming move one block north to 59 Broadway. This has been in the works for over a year now and finally we will be able to share with you all of the awesomeness that is about to come! Our new location will be shared with our sister store, Fancy Tiger Clothing, as well as new-comer-to-South Broadway, Buffalo Exchange. Each store will have their own unique and beautiful space in the original Woolworth's building built in 1913. We have renovated the building (which had sat empty for 5 years) into a warm and welcoming space for our three creative and locally-owned businesses to flourish.

The new crafts space is 2 1/2 times as big as our current store! It will allow us to expand our offerings of your favorite crafts supplies (still sticking with our love of textile and fiber related crafts), but more importantly we want to offer you, our friends and patrons, a relaxing and community-oriented shopping experience. There will be more space for you to shop, the products will be easier to see and better displayed, and there will be a crafting area for hanging out and getting your craft on at all times of the day. Two registers and cutting tables will mean we can give you more attention and help with your purchases and less time waiting in line. Do you need to sit down while browsing books and patterns? No problem! Do you need to spread bolts of fabric out to plan your next quilt? No problem! Do you need a relaxing place to sit and knit on your lunch break? Come on over!

We will have 3 classrooms - 2 sewing studios and 1 knitting and crochet studio. The sewing studios are larger and located on the main level - the extra space will mean less waitlists and more class offerings. We will also be hosting tons of free community events and would love to work with your crafting group - things are already in the works for events with the Denver Handmade Alliance, Craftsy, and AIGA Craftworks!

Two more things: 1. there is a parking lot. 2. there is a fireplace

The big move will take place over the New Year's holiday - we will be closing the shop here at 1 S. Broadway on December 31st - look for us to reopen at 59 Broadway by January 4th. This is the last week to see us in our adorable and well-loved home at 1 S. Broadway, so stop by to say your goodbyes if your feeling a little sentimental!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

All of us at Fancy Tiger Crafts are wishing you a magical holiday season filled with lots of crafty goodness. Thanks so much for your continued support!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Better Know A Crafter Holiday Edition: Milton!

When adorable knitter, Milton, first showed us his plans for a hand knitted adult onesie, our crafty little minds were blown. We watched his progress with glee. (You might remember Milton as the winner of our daybreak knit-along.)

Our holiday dreams finally came true when we received photos of Milton in his completed hand knitted onesie, sharing his Christmas wish list with Santa Claus.

After knitting for only 2 years, Milton created this one of a kind garment as he went along without any pattern to go by. We think that's pretty amazing! It looks like about the coziest thing ever, too.

Nice work, Milton, we can't wait to see what you craft up next!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Betsy Made A Million Things This Year!

Betsy is super crafty and we love having her working here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. She inspires us with her amazing and prolific crafty style and thought you might like to see what she's been up to this year!


One of the best parts of working at Fancy Tiger Crafts is being surrounded by inspiration everyday. Between the incredible customer projects and all the new fun yarn and fabric, we all have a mental list of a million projects that we would like to do. If only there was the time! I have to say this year turned out to be quite productive and fun. Here are a few of my favorite projects.

In January, I started my very first sweater in the My Favorite Sweater class here at the store. I used the Cascade Eco Wool, so soft and lovely to work with, and turned it into a custom sweater that fits like a glove.

This little shawl was a stash buster that I started on a plane trip. The Mizutama Shawl pattern by Olga Jazzy had caught my eye with it's simple geometric lace work. It was a perfect intro to lace and the pattern can be done top down or bottom up. By making it bottom up I was able to bind off when I was done with my skein and call it good. The little felt flower hair pin is something I whipped up for our holiday party.

My favorite project this year is the whisper cardigan that I knitted in the Habu Silk Tweed.  This light weight cardigan is perfect for the Denver weather and I absolutely love how the yarn knitted up!

Making the Whisper Cardigan got me hooked on Habu yarn and especially the patterns that are designed for it. I had been want to try the metal yarns they have and ended up pairing the Copper/Bamboo with some Alpaca lace that I had in my stash to make Kirsten Johnstone's Hakusa Scarf!

Since I started working at Fancy Tiger I had been watching fabric lines come in with the hope of finding the perfect inspiration for my first quilt. When French General's La Petite Ecole line came in I knew exactly what I had to do. Three charm packs, the adorable alphabet panel for the back and red stripes for the border and binding and I was set to go.

For my first quilt, I couldn't be happier about how this turned out. The charm packs made piecing so easy that the hardest part of the quilt top was deciding on the layout. Once I had it basted, Jessica Bridge, our quilting instructor at Fancy Tiger (and my personal Quilt Guru), talked me into getting creative with the quilting and I'm so glad that she did. The center of the quilt is a cross-hatch stitch, the white squares are a square spiral stitch, then there is a double echo stitch on the blue and grey, followed by 3 simple stripes through the reds. Doing all the extra quilting left me with a ton of knot to bury but it was completely worth it. I absolutely love this quilt and all that I put into it. But here is the secret, this baby is full of mistakes; squares that don't line up perfectly, quilted lines that look like drunk driving and even the binding has a few glitches if you look for them. But guess what? No one ever does.

I do love my quilt but I must say that my favorite sewn project of the year is my Button Flap Purse. It's been months now and I am still in love with it. The fabric is retro transistor radios from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Rising collection. I bought the fabric right away waiting for the right project and when we started carrying Jen Giddens' bag patterns, I knew had the winning combination with her Button Flap Purse.

This bag was a cinch to put together. I love how well the Echino dots work for the straps and an orange vintage Casein Button double as a radio dial for the snap. It is the perfect size to carry a book and the essentials.

 Thanks Betsy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Using Fabric Scraps Makes Things Cute!

We love all kinds of crafts--including crafts of the food variety, like baking, cooking and preserving food! Jams, pickles, preserves, and sauces make great gifts. They are a functional handmade gift that captures a seasonal taste from the spring or summer and can show off the fruits of your garden!

I have a lot of peach jams and salsas I made this summer from height-of-the-season Colorado peaches. I can hardly wait to give these as gifts and I packaged them each with beautiful fabric from my scrap bin. A 6" x 6" square piece of fabric is all you need to make an adorable statement for your jam, jelly, or sauce. I tied the fabric on with some nettle yarn and little tags I printed up on kraft paper. Packaged food = done!

Amber and I also love to wild-craft herbs and food whenever we're out in nature. This summer when we went on separate camping/hiking trips to two different parts of Colorado, we were surprised that we both brought back wild-crafted rose hips! Rose hips are the vitamin-packed fruit of the rose plant. The mountains of Colorado have tons of wild roses growing, and late August is a great time to harvest these sweet little gems. Here is what we did with them - some delicious jelly! 

Wildcrafted Rose Hip Jelly Recipe

We gathered our rose hips in the mountains, but you can easily urban forage these abundant fruits. Stay away from any roses that might have pesticides on them, though! The larger the rose hips, the better for jelly, as they will have more of the fruity flesh.

  • 2 quarts rose hips
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 package or 1/4 cup of no-sugar pectin
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • cheesecloth
  • colander or strainer
  • canning jars with lids (enough for 4 - 5 cups of jelly)

  1. Cut off the dried flower bits and the stem from rose hips and wash them.
  2. Put rose hips in a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours until the fruits are easily mashed.
  3. This is a good time to sterilize your jars and lids.
  4. Once the rose hips are done mash them up really good. Let the mixture steep as it cools.
  5. Place a strainer over a large bowl. Line the strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth. This will keep the seeds out of your jelly, which is very important. The hairy seeds are irritating and would not be pleasant to eat. If any sneak into your jelly be sure to get them out.
  6. Now strain your precious rose hip nectar! Use the back of a spoon to press most of the juice out. Once your cheesecloth gets pretty full you can wrap the hip remnants up in it and squeeze the remaining juice out with your hands.
  7. You should have about 3 cups of juice. Add some water if you have less to make 3 cups.
  8. Set out your sterile jars and prepare a water bath for processing.
  9. Combine rose hip juice in a saucepan with pectin. Bring to a boil and add sugar. Bring to a hard boil for 1 minute. Pour into the sterile jars. Seal and process in water bath for 5 minutes.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Crafting With Cat Hair is the Coolest! plus Cat-tastic Blog Giveaways!

    If there is one thing we've learned from living a crafty lifestyle, it's that cats and crafting go hand in hand. Crafters love cats and cats sure do love their crafters. (Deets on the giveaways at the end of the post!)

    Egon is my very handsome and very hairy cat. Like many long haired cats, Egon has a tendency to shed giant tumbleweeds of soft fluffy down on a daily basis--something not every cat owner might appreciate. A handspinner or knitter, on the other hand, sees the lighter-than-air fluffballs floating by and thinks, "that's softer than angora, warmer than wool and it's from the tidiest animal I know!"

    ...and so after a recent cat-brushing sesh with Egon I sat down at my spinning wheel and spun up a peachy 2-ply fingering weight yarn from my beloved kitten. Then I began knitting a little friend for him.

    Egon is a huge fan of his mini-self!

    You can make one too! Our new Minikitti knitting pattern is available here.
    (Details at the bottom of this post on how you can win a copy now and be the first to knit it!)

    If spinning and knitting aren't your forte, but you have feline friends, you will definitely want to pick up the new book, Crafting With Cat Hair. This amazing book covers the best ways to collect and prepare your cat's hair for awesome felting projects, like a felted cat cameo pin, or a miniature needlefelted kitty friend!

    If you love cats as much as we do, leave a comment here by December 15th at 5pm PST and we will choose six winners at random to receive a free copy of the Minikitti knitting pattern and a cat-related prize (it won't be the Crafting with Cat Hair book, but it will be good) courtesy of Random House! Winners will be announced here on December 18th. Thanks for visiting!

    Thanks, Sew Mama Sew, for coordinating Giveaway Day 2011! 
    And the winners are...

    If you are a winner and you have not received an email from us, please send us an email with your mailing address so we can send you your prize!

    Friday, December 09, 2011

    Holiday Handmade Memories 2011!

    We had tons of magical times at this year's Fancy Tiger Holiday Handmade craft fair! We hope you were able to join us for some amazing holiday shopping from local handcrafters. All the vendors blew us away with their lovely products and beautiful displays. We are constantly amazed with the amount of talent we have in our community!

    We were thrilled to have a surprise visit from the rogue street band, Boba Fett and the Americans! To everyone's delight, they crashed the craft fair on Friday night and caused an impromptu dance party.

    Also a new element this year was Yaggi Digital's Fancy Tiger Photo Booth. Vendors were photographed with their wares and shoppers with their purchases. Jaime, Krista and I had some fun getting photographed, too, with a fancy tiger! Click here to see all the photos from the Fancy Tiger Photo Booth.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in, volunteered for and attended Holiday Handmade. It was amazing!

    Tuesday, December 06, 2011

    Better Know A Crafter: Allison Page

    Allison is just about the most adorable crafter we know. She recently moved back to Denver and has been crafting up a storm with her knitting and sewing ever since we met her. She recently picked up one of our cross-stitch iPhone cases and amazed us by creating her own magical unicorn design.

    Allison Page

    What makes you so crafty?
    I'm a librarian but my #1 passion is crafting. I come from a long line of crafters--my mom and grandma are awesome. My fav craft is knitting. Thanks to Fancy Tiger I'm starting to sew!

    Tell us about making your sweet unicorn phone case!
    I made a cross-stitched iPhone case. I looked at a unicorn picture and just sketched it out on graph paper, it grew from there.

    Allison's sweet unicorn design

    How did you learn to do what you do?
    I cross- stitched when I was younger. My mom bought me my first kit. When I saw these iPhone cases come out I knew I had to get stitchin' again.

    What is your favorite animal?
    Sloths and dogs.

    Thanks Allison! Happy stitching and knitting!

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    Holiday Handmade Craft Fair this Friday & Saturday!!

    It's officially December and we can hardly wait--Holiday Handmade is almost here!

    This Friday and Saturday, we at Fancy Tiger Crafts are pleased to present the 4th Annual Holiday Handmade alternative craft fair!

    Holiday Handmade will feature 70 local crafters who are creating unique, quality work by hand and are on the forefront of Denver’s new wave of craft, and is the perfect venue to support local economy and buy handmade! Choose from locally handmade items such as needlefelted ornaments, handbound journals, jewelry, bloomers, terrariums, handsewn dog collars, and one-of-a-kind ceramics to name a few of the amazing products that will be offered. Some vendors include: Mr. Christmas, The Pin Pals, Darling Ruth, Mountain Girl Organics, Ash and Ore, Sweet Letterpress, Hip Violet, Swear Jar Designs, and Vital Industries. This year's Holiday Handmade has 30 brand new vendors! Sugar Bakeshop will be providing sweet treats and warm beverages again this year, and food trucks will be providing attendees with savory items right outside the venue. This event is not to be missed!

    Clockwise from top left: Becky's Buttons & Things, Bussard Design Studio, Mr. Christmas, Mountain Girl Organics, Ekouture, Alex Watson Pottery--just a few of the amazing local vendors!

    The Denver Handmade Alliance is sponsoring Fancy Tiger's Holiday Handmade again this year. The first 50 lucky people through the door both Friday and Saturday will receive a tote bag with goodies from local designers brought to you by the Denver Handmade Alliance.

    Come prepared to find your favorite vendors and locate the ones you haven't seen before! Download and print your own Holiday Handmade Vendor Map right here!

    See you soon!

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Better Know A Crafter: Shannon Wiggins

    Whenever Shannon and Ezra come into the store we all squeal and gasp to see what adorable handmade things he is wearing. Shannon always keeps herself and Ezra decked out in fashionable sewn and knit garments. We think he is in the running for cutest kid in town--I mean, right?

    Shannon Wiggins

    Tell us about yourself--what kinds of crafts do you do?
    I'm a stay at home mama. I have an online cloth diaper biz. I love to sew, knit, spin fiber and make dolls.

    What have you been making?
    Lots of knit and sewn items for my son. I knit sweaters & pants and sew apparel & diapers. I've also made a few Waldorf dolls.

    How did you learn to do what you do?
    I'm self taught!

    What is your favorite animal?
    Dogs fo' sho'!

    Thanks Shannon! Happy crafting and we can't wait to see you guys again!

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Staff Holiday Gift Picks: Part 2

    Welcome to part 2 of our 2011 Staff Holiday Gift Picks! By the way, tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, and we have something for you! Shoppers who stop in this Saturday the 26th to support local and spend $20 or more will receive a special little gift from Fancy Tiger Crafts. Hope to see you soon!

    Now, here is the rest of the fancy gang sharing their favorite crafty items. Come by and see us for more great ideas!

    Greetings! I'm Emily, and I teach advanced knitting, spinning and other more esoteric skills here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. I love constantly pushing my skills, and am often caught crafting in public. Knitting is definitely my first craft, but I love spinning, sewing, quilting, crochet, naalbinding, leatherwork, metalwork, beadwork, and whatever else I can get my hands into! I don't know if you all heard the news, but the fabulous Ysolda Teague was recently in town teaching classes here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Her most recent book, Little Red in the City, is an amazingly complete guide to basic sweater design and beyond! It is a great book for those who just want to follow a pattern too, but beware, those treacherously delightful design chapters might suck you in sooner or later! My super-spectacular Holiday Gift suggestion would be to pair this book with a sweater's worth of yarn in something totally delicious like the all natural undyed heritage breed yarns from Blacker or the organic undyed New Mexican wool. So beautiful!

    Liberty of London fabric is the most coveted fabric in the shop and makes an extra-special gift for your favorite seamstress or seamster. Getting a cut of Liberty fabric (or perhaps a collection of 3 different 1/2 yds?) is the perfect gift for the discerning fabric connoisseur. Liberty is so special that some people are too scared to cut into it or perhaps can't find the perfect project for it - this is why the new book "The Liberty Book of Home Sewing" would make an excellent companion gift. This new and beautiful book is chock full of projects perfect for showing off your Liberty. There are lots of projects for even small cuts or scraps of Liberty fabric so your special gift of Liberty will not go unused! We just received a new shipment so we have over 25 beautiful prints to choose from!

    Of course, any knitter loves to receive yarn for their stash but if I could recommend one yarn to give as a gift this year it would any of the HABU metallic yarns. This yarn comes in either a silk stainless steel blend or copper bamboo. Both of which are so beautifully unique and can make a simple project extraordinary. I'm currently making a scarf with a copper bamboo edging and I'm in love with how it is turning out! Knitters also love new patterns and, fortunately, modern knit designer, Olga Jazzy, has a bit of a thing for Habu yarns. You can choose from a variety of her geometric inspired patterns or her incredible book, Ori Ami Knits.

    Hello! My name is Melissa, I'm newish to working here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Newish in that I briefly worked here last year and am back helping for this holiday season. I'm so excited, since I love Fancy Tiger as a customer and it is wonderful to be surrounded by creative, amazing people. My holiday suggestion would be the new book by Sarai Mitnick from Colette Patterns, The Colette Sewing Handbook. It is simply awesome with several cute patterns and a wealth of knowledge from fabric types to finishing techniques. One pattern I am super excited about is the Licorice dress and I think it would be perfect in our Joel Dewberry Heirloom voile, any of them, but the Paisley pattern in amber would be really fun. Plus this fabric is dreamy to touch and would give the perfect drape for this dress. So if you have a sewist in your life I would definitely pick up this book for them! See you in the store! Bye.
    Hello! I'm Branwyn, the trusty shop dog! You may have given me a pat on the head or a treat before. For that, you are my friend for life. My gift recommendation is for the crafty dog lover, of whom I know quite a few. The Style Hounds sweater kits include organic wool yarn and a knitting pattern to make really classy dog sweaters, like cabled sweaters and houndstooth patterns and such. When we get blustery cold winter weather, I know from experience that pups can use a lovingly handcrafted sweater, too!


    Fancy Tiger Crafts

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Staff Holiday Gift Picks: Part 1

    Welcome to the 2011 gift picks from our fanciest of Fancy Tiger staff!

    Being surrounded every day by the most amazing craft supplies of all time is pretty great, and it gives us a lot of time to think about our favorite items. Here is what we are dreaming of, and what might just be the perfect thing for someone crafty on your gift list...

     Hey ya'll Jess here! After being out of the country for 8 months, it was such a delight coming back to my crafty land here at Fancy Tiger. I missed so many incredible new items! Throughout my travels I fell in love with the Korean craft scene. When the Neo Stitch cross stitch case for the Iphone 4 arrived from Korea, I got weak in the knees. My head was full of magical ideas--all of course inspired by adorable Asia--ranging from Hello Kitty to a heart filled love portrait of me and my boyfriend. This kit comes with a chart book, a needle, and thread! What more could you ask for?! I'll tell you what else you could ask for.... more thread! My Neo Stitch companion would be Anna Maria Horner's inspired palette of embroidery floss, which adds 12 more colors to work with. Way happy fun times ahead for me and making my phone a case full of love and joy. Annyeong hi gaseyo! (goodbye!)


    Hi, it's Amber here! This winter I'm all about staying cozy. Sarah, one of the amazing Fancy Tiger instructors, keeps making the most cozy and fashionable tops from our eco-friendly jerseys. Two of the classes I'm itchin' to take are Sarah's Serger 101 and 201 classes! Covered are skills on the serger, plus, in the 201 class you get to make the most flattering and comfy sweatshirt of all time. A gift certificate for these sewing classes paired with a couple yards of our hemp/organic cotton jersey would be a pretty awesome treat for a sewer who wants to expand their sewing repertoire!

    This Yule my heart belongs to me...and Tracie! Tracie is the name of a two ply, sport weight yarn by Imperial Stock Ranch. It is rustic enough to hold strong through years of tough winters, and soft enough to wear casually. Tracie is extremely beautiful, and has a lofty attitude. After much frustration trying to find the perfect sweater pattern for myself, I have been inspired by the great Ysolda Teague to design my own sweater. Tracie and I have learned that designing a sweater incorporates a lot of math, and planning. While we were squishing each other at Fancy Tiger, a good friend recommended the book Sweater Design In Plain English by Maggie Righetti. At a glance, Tracie and I were excited to see that somebody had spent time developing a step-by-step book about how to design an array of sweaters based on individual gauge and yarn choice. When I looked deeper into the book, I learned that it had much more information about techniques, taking proper measurements, yarn choice, color theory. Perfect! When I wake up on the day of this winter festival, I hope to find Tracie, in the colorways Canyon Shadow and Pearl Grey, resting next to the book Sweater Design In Plain English. We'll keep each other warm and cozy for years to come!

    Hi everybody! I'm Amy and you know I love me some modern quilting! So when I saw this hot new quilt book, Modern Blocks, arrive this month, it was love at first sight. 99 killer blocks by some of my favorite modern quilt designers- it's seriously a slice of heaven. I'm drooling over the newspaper boat block on page 166, with Heather Ross mermaids swimming in the sea below- how rad is that?! I love how there's a fantastic range of skill level and style in this book- from a simple appliqued circle, to intricate paper pieced designs, there's something for everyone. I would love for Santa to leave this book under my tree, along with a delicious Tula Pink Prince Charming fat quarter bundle. 30 yummy fat quarters to quilt to my little heart's desire. The stack is so cute though, it might take me awhile to get the nerve to take off the ribbon! 

    Hello! I'm Tymla, I'm new to Fancy Tiger Crafts and I am super excited to be working in such a creative and fun environment! My first love is crochet, I can crochet with my eyes closed, but working here has given me a chance to expand my knowledge and skills in many other crafts. I am very focused on improving my knitting skills, there are so many beautiful knit patterns out there that I can't wait to make. This is why I really want Stephen West's third book, Westknits Book Three. My first knit project was the Daybreak pattern in his first book, which turned out great! Now I'm ready to make the Thendara pattern out of Book Three, it's a light weight, angular, striped scarf that I will wear with everything! I'm a big fan of clothing that I can throw in the washing machine with everything else, so I think Madeline Tosh DK in Olivia and Antler will be perfect. It will be super soft and warm. And don't forget your needles!!! Happy knitting!


    We hope you are having a great holiday! Check back tomorrow for the rest of our gift picks--even shop dog Branwyn has something she thinks you will like!