Monday, April 29, 2013

Me Made May 2013 Challenge!

So, Zo...we Fancy Tigers are accepting your challenge!

We--Amber, Jaime and the rest of the Fancy Tiger Crafts crew--sign up as participants of Me-Made-May '13. We will document all of our handmadery weekly here on our blog at, hooray!

I, Jaime, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear a different handmade outfit every day for the duration of May 2013.

I, Amber, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear a different handmade outfit every day and make at least two new garments for the duration of May 2013

I, Allison, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear at least one item of handmade clothing 5 days a week and make 2 new handmade things in May 2013.

I, Caitlin of Sparrows and Spools, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear at least one item of handmade clothing 5 days a week and create 1 new item of clothing each week for the duration of May 2013.
I, Emily Platzer, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear something handmade by me each day for the duration of May 2013. In addition, I endeavour to create four new handmade items for myself in May 2013.

I, Erikia, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear tops and accessories I've made as often as I can for the month of May 2013.

I, Katy of ModularModular, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear lovely handmade items each day for the duration of May 2013.

I, Melissa,sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear a handmade item 4 days per week and to complete two sewn items and at least 1 knitted item for the duration of May 2013.

Hoo haa, here I go!

I, Miranda, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear a different dress I've made each day AND wear one thing I've knitted, that I wear often or are from the back of the closet for the duration of May 2013

I, Tina also sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2013. I endeavor to wear dresses, outfits, and accessories made by me every day of May!


Here we go!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Magical Makerie Sewing Retreat!

Jaime and I had a fantastic time at the Makerie Sewing retreat at Chautauqua. We spent the weekend taking workshops from instructors that Ali of the Makerie brought to Colorado from all over.

Our little pop-up store     photo © Linda Winski

Amy Butler stopped by our shop on her way to the Makerie and Fancy Tiger customers and staff gave her a warm welcome to Colorado.

     photo © Linda Winski

This was the first Makerie focusing solely on sewing, and it was a dream come true. The instructors were Amy Butler, Liesl Gibson, Jenny Hart, Heather Jones, Kaari Meng, Tamar Morgdorff and Cal Patch--amazing ladies and inspiring crafters each and every one!

Wonderful ladies Heather, Kaari, Liesl, Amy, Jenny, Cal and Tamar     photo © Linda Winski
Kaari of French General taught a workshop on shibori indigo dyeing techniques. Jaime and Sadie both took this class and made some stunning fabrics.and hand-dyed lace.

Kaari, Jaime and Sadie     photo © Linda Winski

Jaime and I both took Cal Patch's Design Your Own Clothes class, and learned to draft dresses and skirts to our own body measurements. Everyday Cal wore cute dresses and leggings and crocheted shawls that she made--totes adorable. We can't wait to stitch up our new custom garments!

Cal Patch and Heather Jones
Tamar Mogendorff taught a soft sculpture workshop where we learned to mix our stitching with materials like wire and cardboard to create sculptures. Tamar's sculptures are an amazing blend of art and hand craft, so inspiring.

Tamar with her birdcage      photo © Linda Winski

Liesl Gibson is known for the garment patterns she designs under the name Oliver + S. and Lisette, but at the Makerie she taught a class on smocking. Smocking is a hand stitching technique that makes beautiful pleated embellishments. Jaime took Liesl's class and learned how to smock while making a necklace. Smocking was passed on to Liesl from her grandmother so it was a special craft to learn from an amazing woman.

Liesl wearing her smocked necklace

On the left is a sample of smocking from Liesl's grandmother, the right is Liesl's modern take on smocking

Emily, Liesl, Jaime, Cal, Amber, Heather, and Ali     photo © Linda Winski

♥♥♥ Having miss-out syndrome? The Makerie now has a Summer Series--three single-day mini-Makeries that will include a farm dinner at Lyons Farmette. Perfect for locals! Jaime and I will be teaching handspun at the June one, so come have fun with us there! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Knitting Superstar Weekend!

We had lots of fun with Stephen West, Ragga Eiriksdotter, Ragga's daughter Runa and surprise guest, Cirilia Rose on their visit! We miss them already and look forward to the next time we get to see these lovely folks.

Amber, Cirilia, Stephen, Runa, Ragga & Jaime

Stephen and Ragga taught two workshops together as RaggaWest, and we had a great time getting a glimpse into their design process.

I sat in on Idea Tank and loved it. Everyone came up with designs that were so different and each one was amazing. I can't wait to knit up my new designs!

Stephen got to hang out in Denver for a while and we took him on a beautiful mountain hike (between snowstorms!) He showed off his knitting skills by knitting a sweater the entire time we hiked through mud and snow on steep mountain trails. You'll be happy to know he didn't fall off the mountain once. Phew!

Thanks for the fun times and inspiration everyone!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Lotta Jansdotter Glimma Fabrics are Here!

Lotta Jansdotter has done it again! More beautiful prints in her trademark Scandinavian design style. We love the bright colors mixed with soft neutrals. This newest collection for Windham, named "Glimma" will give you more reasons to sew - summer dresses, bags and quilts, here we come!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Better Know a Crafter: Rúna Bergsdóttir

We had the pleasure of having Ragga Eiriksdottir and her daughter Rúna visit us this past week from Iceland. Ragga is the woman behind Knitting Iceland, hosting knitting tours of Iceland and Icelandic knitting heritage. They are both great knitters, but while here they took advantage of our sewing studio and made all sorts of amazing sewn garments. Rúna has awesome style in her color choices - very Icelandic!

Guðrún Lóa Bergsdóttir (Rúna) & Ragga Eiríksdóttir

Rúna and Ragga with favorite plush dog, Flosi
"Rúna og Flosi" collar made by Rúna

What types of crafts do you do?
I'm almost 10 years old and I live in Reykjavik, Iceland. I have a pet budgie named Spotti, he is yellow and green and knows how to talk. I think it's fun to make things and be creative. I like to sew dresses and knit and sometimes in school I make things from wool.

Rúna made these pajama pants

Tell us about your outfits. 
I designed two dresses made from jersey and polka dot fabric. One of them is pink and green and the other is purple and orange. I'm thinking about making a third one in pink and yellow. My mom helped my cut the fabric and sew. We used a sewing machine, serger, scissors, pins and and iron (I love ironing). and a t-shirt of mine for making the pattern. 

Rúna is working on a knit scarf

How did you learn to sew?
I learned to sew on a sewing machine in 3rd grade in my school. We made a little teddy bear. In 4th grade we learned how to knit and I made a little purse for my mom.

Rúna's kitty head skirt with flower Wiksten Tank

What is your favorite animal?
I have 3 favorite animals: cats, dogs, and giraffes
In Icelandic: köttur, hundur, giraffi

We asked Rúna to translate a few more crafty words for us into Icelandic:
Sewing - sauma
Knitting - prjóna
Fashion - tiska
Fabric - efni
Yarn - garn
Sewing Machine - saumavél
Scissors -  skæri
Pins - tituprjónar
Dress - kjóll
Skirt - pils
Clothes - föt
Necklace - hálsmen
Flower - blóm

Some of Rúna's favorite things
Thanks Rúna and Ragga! Happy crafting!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Zoom Looms Are Here!

The most adorable portable loom is here from our favorite local manufacturer of spinning and weaving tools, Schacht Spindle Company!

The Zoom Loom is a compact, simple-to-use pin loom that you can take with you anywhere. This affordable little loom is great for folks who are interested in learning to weave or who want to weave on-the-go.

Weave up a fabric square in no time for instant gratification crafting and use them as coasters, or join them together to make more epic projects--anything from table runners to bags or blankets.

Check back for Zoom Loom classes on our upcoming Summer Schedule, released at the beginning of May!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jaime's Hitchhiker Shawl + More Nightfall Magic - now in (almost) every weight!


We love Nightfall - the ombre yarn created and hand-dyed by Fibro Fibers. I recently finished a Hitchhiker shawl out of Nightfall fingering in grey. This shawl pattern by Martina Behm is perfect for this yarn as it is knit on a diagonal until you have just enough yarn to cast off. Voilà! You have a new shawl that perfectly uses up all of your beautiful Nightfall yarn.

We just received a new shipment and now have Nightfall available in sock sets, sport, dk, and worsted weight.

All of these lovelies are available in the magically hand-dyed colors shown here. We can't wait to see what you make!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Bundle of Baby Things: Wholecloth Quilts & Handknitted Toys


Both Jaime and I have friends and family welcoming new babies into their lives. What can a Fancy Tiger do but craft up something by hand to celebrate these precious little folks coming into the world?

I've made my share of pieced quilts, but after visiting Folk Fibers' studio and seeing her amazing handstiched quilts I was inspired to try my hand at making whole-cloth baby quilts quilted by hand. Even with the hand stitching, these two simple, turned quilts were quick to make--faster, I found, than a baby quilt that is pieced and bound.

The first I made for a friend's first baby, with a Nani Iro soft cotton double-gauze on one side and backed with a bright, sunny brushed cotton plaid. I quilted it by stitching circles in bright pink perle cotton around random colorful polka dots à la Purl Bee's quilted play mat.

The second quilt was made for my newest niece, and, Eddie and I together, stitched away on it to finish it. It was made with the fantastic crane print from Rashida Colman-Hale's Tsuru collection for Cloud 9 Organics. I love the pop of the vermillion suns against the turquoise background, and we chose a hot red-orange brushed cotton plaid to back the quilt with. The hand quilting was done in turquoise floss, in straight lines echoing the lines in the plaid.

I love that with these quilts most of the time is spent--not at your sewing machine--but sitting and meditatively hand quilting. Even better, it can be done together with a friend. Each quilt was personalized by embroidering the year onto the corner.

For a dear friend's new baby, Jaime knit Sophie the bunny, a pattern by Ysolda. She used Spud & Chloe's Sweater, a perfect yarn for baby things, made with easy-to-care-for washable wool and organic cotton. A handknit toy is perfect for a summertime Texas baby when garments and blankets can be too heavy. This foot tall bunny will be a constant friend for the new baby and for years to come.

My other little niece just turned two, can you believe it? I know she loves animals so I made her a sweet grey kitten with our Minikitti knitting pattern. When I gave it to her she hugged it and said "I love you!" to her new minikitti. Talk about adorable!

So many cute babies and so many cute things to make for them!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Sweet Georgia Yarn and Roving!

We are thrilled to welcome Sweet Georgia yarns and rovings to our line-up of inspiring craft supplies! Sweet Georgia is the company of Felicia Lo out of Vancouver, Canada. Felicia hand-dyes all of the fiber and yarn using bold and saturated colors - of course, we love them.

BFL sock is a lovely sock yarn made up of 80% Blue Faced Leicester wool and 20% nylon. The Blue Faced Leicester makes for a super soft yarn and the nylon adds strength. We have BFL sock in 18 semi-solid colors...perfect for our Laurelhurst KAL!

We also have hand-dyed roving braids! These 4 oz beauties feature tonal colors on a superwash merino base. We can't wait to see what you spin up!