Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fancy Tiger Crafts Pear Drop KAL

We are super excited to announce our KAL (that's Knit Along for non-yarn nerds) for Ysolda’s “Pear Drop” pattern from the new Saturday Treat book.

Amber and I will be casting on for the Pear Drop on Tuesday, March 6th at our Open Craft Night. Anyone is welcome to join. We will be knitting our Pear Drops every Tuesday night for the month of March, hoping to finish by the end of March. Craft night is free and open to the public - it is 6 - 9pm every Tuesday night!

If you live in town and would like to join, just let us know and you will receive 15% off your purchase of yarn, pattern and needles for the project. If you live out of town and want to join, we would love to hear and see your progress on our Ravelry thread.

Several craft-nighters are currently working on other Saturday Treat patterns, so we’d love to see all your new Ysolda knits. Stay tuned to the blog to see our finished pieces in April!

See you soon!
Jaime and Amber

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Yarn and Spinning Fiber from Anzula!

Three exciting things are here from Anzula: Oasis Camel/Silk Yarn, amazing new spinning fibers & a full restock of our beloved Anzula Squishy.

We are happy to welcome Oasis into the store!

This hand-dyed yarn has a beautiful tweedy texture and the fiber blend of silk and camel carries the dye in the most gorgeous way. It is an abundant 4 ounce skein with 373 yards of loveliness.

We have also picked up some of Anzula's criminally soft and luxurious spinning fiber--including Yak/Merino, Camel/Tussah Silk and Baby Llama. The beautiful range of natural colors are great for overdyeing or using in their natural shades of animal color.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Jaime's Liberty Tova Blouse

Liberty of London Fabric + Wiksten Tova pattern = ♥

I've had my eye on this Liberty print ever since we received our last Liberty shipment. I knew I wanted to make a top out of it, but have been waiting for the perfect pattern. When I saw the Tova pattern by Wiksten it was true love!

This Tova top by Wiksten is a beautiful, hand drawn sewing pattern by designer Jennifer Gordy out of Iowa. I ordered the pattern directly from her website (you will have to do the same as we cannot carry them at this time...) It arrived in a vellum sleeve closed with a Liberty of London sticker - it was meant to be!

I was a really bad seamstress and did not make a muslin or anything. I was so excited to make this top, I just went for it - and it worked out wonderfully. The top is flattering and feminine with gathering detail around a front placket as well as on the 3/4 sleeve cuffs. The piece went together great and it fits perfect!

Of course, since it is Liberty, it is super soft and the drape of the lawn fabric works splendidly with this design.

I also have the Wiksten Tank pattern in my possession and am already scheming which fabric to use for it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Pieter Srtydom

Pieter is a genius. Besides being totally fluent in lace knitting, he is also fluent in Dutch--and enjoys translating vintage Flemish knitting patterns! He just finished this beautifully delicate lace shawl which he worked on for four years, off and on. It is totally amazing!

Pieter Strydom

 What kinds of crafts do you do?
 I love doing lace knitting. I love the intricacy of lace patterns.

Tell us about making your shawl.
This is a Shetland lace shawl, a knitted lace pattern. It was made using lace mohair.

How did you learn to knit?
I started knitting lace when I was very young, before school. I asked my mother to teach me since the lace she was knitting intrigued me.

What is your favorite animal?

Thanks Pieter! Happy lace knitting!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hot New Fabrics!

Two fantastic new collections just came in and they are as different as can be, but we absolutely love them both!

Jennifer Paganelli's aesthetic is Victorian floral meets vibrant color explosion. Her Crazy Love collection is amazing--bright orange, turquoise, mustard and plum bring fun and cheer to traditional florals and damasks. Whatever you make from these fabrics are sure to make you smile. We are thinking a trio of bright throw pillows to brighten a room or a fabulous spring skirt.

Sweetwater's Reunion collection is a little bit nautical. The navy and grey is a lovely neutral palette and who can resist those cute pennants? Reunion has lots of easy to use dots, zigzags and checkerboards. We are thinking buttondown shirts and quilt bindings!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Ysolda Teague

Ysolda, as you may know, is an amazing knitter. She is in town visiting us and we couldn't be happier. Come by tomorrow night for a special lecture, booksigning and meet & greet!

Last time she payed us a visit, Ysolda surprised us by spending a few hours in our sewing studio, designing an adorable skirt which we published as a free tutorial on our blog. (You should make one!) We love Ysolda's secret sewing side. When she rolled into town this time she immediately started designing a super-cute handbag!

Ysolda Teague

Tell us about your crafty self and what kinds of crafts you do.
I design knitting patterns so I kind of craft for a living. My job involves a lot of thinking about making stuff, a lot of writing and calculating along with general business stuff. I love it, but it's definitely cut into my craft time. I've done almost every craft at least once. I spent my childhood sitting on the floor of the crafts section at the library, falling in love with crafts and craft books.

Tell us about bag you've made.
I've been hauling a huge bag around on this trip and I thought it might be nice to have a smaller one. I've loved this car print for ages but never used it. I like the contrast of the cars and the flowers on the handles. These Japanese handles are really cute and they were easy to use--they give a really professional finish.

I didn't use a pattern and my bag kept getting more elaborate. The piping was the hardest part, but I think it was worth the hassle of sewing through so many layers where three piped seams came together.

How did you learn to be so crafty?
My mother is an artist and, although she is more into drawing and painting than craft and didn't really teach me techniques, she always made sure there were lots of supplies available. As far back as I can remember I had my own little table in the kitchen and there was always paint set up. We made playdough and crafted decorations for all my birthday parties. Crafting was so much a part of my everyday that I was shocked to find out that my friends didn't live like this or that they weren't allowed to make so much mess.

I couldn't see how to make a living with crafting and decided to do something intellectual at university. I turned out that I couldn't live without making things and that's when I fell in love with knitting. I could sneak a project into my bag and pull it out during dull lectures. My notebooks started to fill up with ideas for my own designs. Crafting became my life even when I tried to do something else so I figured I may as well give in. And now I'm sneaking time to make things that aren't "work"--where I can just focus on just putting something together, making it up as I go along.

What is your favorite animal?
I'm currently obsessed with narwhals. I love that so many people don't know they're real.

Thanks Ysolda! Happy sewing (and knitting, of course!)

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Angora Bunny Wool!

Fluffy clouds of soft angora bunny fiber is here! This locally raised angora is from a small fleet of bunnies right here in Denver.

Natural Angora Colors: White  |  Tort  |  Agouti  |  Blue  |  Black

Twelve cute French angora rabbits owned by Peggy Pearlman provided us with this rainbow of five natural colors. Handspinners, this is one amazingly soft fiber! Angora is super warm and insulating and can be blended with other fibers to add a sweet halo to your handspun--or you can spin it all by itself for an amazing yarn.

Emily has been spinning some 100% Angora yarn in the natural Agouti color. She is knitting it into what will be a beautiful Shetland-style shawl with a lace edging in Tort.

Emily's handspun 100% angora Shetland shawl in progress

Her fiber came from her own adorable bunny, Ms. Queen Victoria. (Branwyn the shop dog's sister!)

Queen Victoria the Angora Bunny with her sister, Branwyn

They are best friends!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Tour of the Western Slope with Ysolda!

Ysolda Teague was just in town visiting us again and this time it was for a vacation! Amber and I took a few days off to give her a proper tour of our lovely state and we have lots to report. She arrived just in time for our epic blizzard last Thursday so we just spent the first couple of days sewing and working in the shop. On Sunday we dug ourselves out and drove to the western slope for some animal-cuddling, nature-loving adventures.

Ysolda, Jaime, and Amber showing their Icelandic pride!

First stop was up in Norwood Colorado where we visited Peg and Woody of Pinon Wood Ranch. The cold weather was a perfect opportunity for us to wear our Icelandic sweater and test their warmth (which totally worked, btw.) 

Flower is showing us her smile.
Peg and Woody raise Shetland sheep and alpacas for fiber. Their Shetland sheep have won tons of awards for their beautiful fiber and we think they are the nicest sheep around! Peg's sheep love to cuddle us and stare into our eyes with long, loving gazes.

Ralphie and Cheddar are about to get real famous

Amber and I were so excited to discover an interesting genetic mutation that we think could be a goldmine - miniature sheep! Last year there were four sheep (Ralphie, Cheddar, Swissy and Lauren) born at Pinon Woods that did not grow. These two rams are a year old and still the size of a 2 month old sheep! We really think that they should use them to create a new breed of miniature sheep that we can keep as pets in the city. They are perfect!

Shetland sheep are known for their hardy yet soft wool and they come in 11 different colors. There are many different colors of Shetlands at Pinon Wood Ranch - they are all so beautiful!

Of course we couldn't resist getting our hands on some fluffy alpacas. Their fiber is soo soft--and look at that crimp! Amazing!

Since we last visited, Peg has opened her handspun yarn and fiber shop in an adorable trailer. She is able to take the whole shop easily from one event to the next when she is on the road selling her wares. Look forward to more of Peg's handspun yarns coming to Fancy Tiger this spring!

We were able to bring back some of their Shetland roving with us to sell at Fancy Tiger. We picked out seven natural colors provided by Mary Jane, Flower, Abigail, Butch Cassidy, Mercedes, Belle Star, and Gracie. If you want to try spinning or felting some of this lovely local fiber, just come on in!

Ysolda, Jaime, and Amber frolic in nature. Lots of knitwear going on.
Amber and I wouldn't be good tour guides if we didn't show Ysolda some of Colorado's natural beauty. Amber's parents, Neal and Suzan, took us on an epic snowshoe hike near Ouray. Fresh snow the day before made for a beautiful and pristine landscape. We finished off the day with some local beers at a pub and a soak at the Wiesbaden hot springs - it was the perfect day!

Our drive home lent an unexpected surprise. As we drove through Hotchkiss, a group of shepherds were moving a herd of 2000 sheep from one pasture to another, causing a road block on the highway. We were so excited and immediately pulled over for a photo shoot. It worked out pretty well don't you think?

Fun times in Colorado! Ysolda will be back in town next weekend for a lecture and book signing of her two (!) new books! Join us on Friday, February 17th from 7 - 9pm for more fun times.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

New! Cestari Yarns from Mr. Francis Chester!

Francis Chester stole our little hearts at TNNA this year. His love of animals and farming began when he was ten years old and started his own farming business in Long Island. Now 60 years later he is living his dream in Virginia with his own fiber mill and flocks of Merino, Columbia and Taghee sheep. He even wrote a book about it!

We love Cestari's 100% US raised, milled and dyed yarns and picked up his woolen spun worsted weight yarn. Here is a little educational video about the farm and their mill.

Francis Chester and the ladies of Fancy Tiger

Woolen spun is a process that creates a squishy, lofty yarn. The fibers go every which way, making it an extra sproingy yarn that is super insulating and can be used for a range of gauge. We love it!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Amanda Pacheco

Several of us Fancy Tiger folks have Jared Flood's Rock Island Shawl on the needles right now, so we were all pretty amazed when Amanda stopped in wearing her finished Rock Island--because she had handspun the pretty lace yarn which she knitted it from! We love the long color repeats she got from spinning a hand-dyed roving.

Amanda Pacheco

What kinds of crafts do you do?
I crochet, knit, spin, dye, make batts...if it's fiber, I'm in. I love wearing something I made and I love draping my friends in handmade nomminess!

Tell us about your shawl.
Rock Island. I spun the yarn from Maude & Me roving and knitted it with support from Fancy Tiger. This was the finest yarn I've ever spun and the hardest pattern by far.

How did you learn to spin and knit?
I taught myself to knit and spin. I've been knitting for two years and spinning for one. My friend Caryn got me interested in spinning and has been my greatest support (and enabler!)

What is your favorite animal?
Any one that's spinnable. :)

Thanks Amanda! Happy spinning and knitting!