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Friday, August 31, 2012

Fashions for Fall & Winter — August 29 Leisure Arts Newsletter!

With Labor Day approaching, it’s time for us to start thinking about creative additions to our fall and winter wardrobes! If you’re searching for new hat, mitten, cowl, poncho, and cardi knit and crochet patterns—You’ve opened the right newsletter!

Plus, you asked for it! We’re working on adding new downloadable eBooks to the Leisure Arts site, and there are more to come. Check out a few of our just released titles:
Having trouble keeping up with your digital downloads? To make it easier for you to view all of your eBooks and ePatterns in one place, we've added a new feature to the top of the LeisureArts.com home page — My eBooks & ePatterns!
And Deals…All of us at Leisure Arts would like to wish you and yours a safe and creative long Labor Day weekend! To help you celebrate, here’s a little perk from us to you—45% off on everything on LeisureArts.com! Good August 31st through September 4th. Enjoy!
For more bargains, browse all the different skill categories in our Current Promotions list. For more info about what’s happening at Leisure Arts, our Facebook page and Everyday Life at Leisure daily blog always have the latest news, so bookmark those sites and visit often.
Housekeeping Reminder
We’re asking all subscribers to the Leisure Arts Newsletter to update their subscription preferences! Let us know what categories you’re interested in (knit, crochet, cross stitch…), so that we can better share the info that you’re interested in (like our Free Pattern Friday Newsletter for Crocheters!). Simply select your interest categories and update your preferences. We’ll give you a Free Download of Celebrating Cookies (normally $7.48) just for updating!
Editor's Corner:
Just Released—Snow Day Sets to Knit
Bundle up the family in these toasty hats and matching mittens to knit by Lila Sargent! Our Snow Day Sets to Knit eBook is also available to download digitally! Read more…
New Releases In the Spotlight:
We’re putting the spotlight on a Fall & Winter Fashions in this issue with a double feature from two of our favorite designers—Lisa Gentry and Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby:
Knit Cowls by Lisa Gentry
Add color and texture to your wardrobe with these 10 cowl patterns to knit by Lisa Gentry. Our Knit Cowls eBook is also available to download digitally! Read more…
Crochet Cowls by Lisa Gentry
Crocheted cowls are beautiful, easy-to-wear accessories. You'll find 10 stylish cowls in this warm collection by Lisa Gentry. Our Crochet Cowls eBook is also available to download digitally! Read more…
Crochet Ponchos by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
Take a peek at 6 stylish poncho patterns to crochet by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby! Our Crochet Ponchos eBook is also available to download digitally! Read more…
Cool Weather Fashions by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
These five fashionable patterns to crochet from Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby will take your wardrobe from fall to winter and back again. Our Cool Weather Fashions eBook is also available to download digitally! Read more…

Current Promotions
Be sure to check on current promotions at LeisureArts.com as new promotions will be added on a regular basis. Below are a few we are currently running.
• All of our Mary Engelbreit products on sale at 50% off the original retail price.
• We have select products marked at 40% off the original retail price in the following categories: Crochet, Cross Stitch, Knitting, Painting, Paper Crafting, Quilting and Sewing.
• Select how-to DVD Products on sale at up to 50% off the original retail price!
Clearance Products: These products have been placed on clearance and greatly discounted from the original retail price.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tips for Eco-Conscious Crochet

As an obsessed collector of stuff and a crocheter, I’ve noticed the push these days to rediscover items and collectibles from the past! I don’t think this fascination with "timeless treasures" has never been lost on my fellow crocheters. Admit it…You’re a collector…You’ve got a yarn leftovers stash that you just can’t part with! Just like me. And like me, you probably need and intervention! Check out the following tips from Leisure Arts crochet fans from over the years on how crochet enthusiasts of all skill levels can save abandoned yarn from the trash can and while also managing their yarn stashes.

• Be green and economically minded! Scour garage sales, flea markets, and other secondhand haunts for yarn. You'll be surprised at the variety of hues and the quality of material you can find at reasonable prices. Look for yarn with labeling that includes the fabric content and/or care instructions.
• Save on filler for your next pillow by stuffing it with leftover yarn (in the same or similar colors as your project). Yarn is a good substitute for white fiberfill, which can show through crocheted work.
• Recycle yarn left over from baby projects by crocheting it into 4-inch squares using single crochets. Border each square (also using single crochets) in a coordinating color. When you have enough squares to form rectangle, use whipstitching to join blocks into a baby shawl or carriage blanket. Scrap yarn can also be used to create coasters, pot holders, and hot mats. These are great ways to clean out that overflowing craft closet!
• Contrary to popular belief, you can reuse yarn from a previous project. The only challenge is removing kinks. After unraveling an item, your grandmother probably would've formed a large hank by winding yarn around her shoulder and the bend of her elbow. Instead, use a straight-back chair as a simple substitute. When finished, tie two scraps of the yarn around your hank to bind it; then immerse it in cold water until the yarn is completely soaked. Remove excess water by rolling the hank in a cloth towel, but don't wring it! Return the hank to a stretched position across the chair back to finish drying (if necessary to protect chair from moisture, wrap chair back with plastic first). Be sure to keep any wool yarns away from direct sunlight.
• To use up scrap yarn, work a variety of leaf and flower patterns and store them in zip bags. Then, when you’re working on a bathroom set, a wreath, a pillow, an afghan, or any other project that could benefit from these embellishments, you’ve already have different styles that are ready to attach. You can even tack on a pin back for a simple piece of colorful jewelry!
• Here’s a great idea for using up partial skeins of yarn. Tape two metal clothes hangers together with masking tape, then holding two strands of yarn together, make single crochets around the hangers for a cute wardrobe accessory!
• Love to crochet all kinds of projects but hate having a lot of small balls of yarn laying around? Each is usually not enough to use in another project, but too much for us "pack-rats" to throw away. Solution: Keep a few patterns for scrap yarn afghans that feature small motifs handy, so when you finish a project, instead of throwing the small ball of yarn away, pull out a pattern and use the remaining yarn to make motifs. Once you have enough motifs, complete the afghan. Doing this not only uses up extra yarn, but it also makes scrap yarn afghans requiring hundreds of motifs less overwhelming.
• When those leftover little balls of yarn start adding up, get out your favorite square pattern and just keep adding on the extra yarn. The various colors mix together wonderfully, and the one square turns into an entire afghan—it's really fun to watch it all come together in the end.
• Combine cotton yarns left over from making dishcloths to make multicolored pot holders.

Looking for a few good crochet pattern books to inspire you to use up that leftover yarn? Check out some of my favorite titles and patterns:

It can be fun and easy being green!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Win It Wednesday: Fall & Winter Crochet Fashion!

Drum Roll, Please!!!
Our Winner is ShaRhanda Lawson!
It’s Win It Wednesday, and I’m so looking forward to sweater weather, so I’m doubly excited about sharing the new publications for this week’s giveaway! I’ve got two more new crochet fashion pattern books to give away— Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s Crochet Ponchos and Cool Weather Fashions! Just think—you could win them in my Crochet Fashion Giveaway! Take a peek at the fab patterns in these two book:
Crochet Ponchos
Easy to crochet and easy to wear! These stylish poncho patterns by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby will update your wardrobe with comfortable good looks. The six designs for medium weight yarn range from elbow length to below the hip: Circle Poncho, In The Round Poncho, Rectangle Poncho, Triangles Poncho, Accent Panel Poncho, and Border Poncho. Pair them with jeans, slacks, or skirts to enjoy warm and original fashion every day!
Circle Poncho
In The Round Poncho
Rectangle Poncho
Triangles Poncho
Accent Panel Poncho
Border Poncho
Cool Weather Fashions
Exciting cool-weather fashions that are easy to crochet and fun to wear? Yes! From the comfortable Boyfriend Hoodie to the elegant Front Wrap Cardi, these five patterns from Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby also offer a wide range of sizes. The Perfect Cardi and the Vintage Opera Jacket are refreshing new updates on classic designs. Need something special for days at the office? The Uptown Jacket does an excellent job of making you look good! You’ll enjoy crocheting each warm garment while adding more style to your wardrobe.
Boyfriend Hoodie
Front Wrap Cardi
Perfect Cardi
Vintage Opera Jacket
Uptown Jacket
Meet The Designer: Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby!
Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby of Shibaguyz Designz is a professional crochet and knitwear designer whose award-winning designs have appeared in publications worldwide. He also is accomplished in art, master gardening, and the culinary arts.
Just leave a comment at the end of this post before next Wednesday, September 5, and you might win the giveaway of my copies of Crochet Ponchos and Cool Weather Fashions! (Please remember to give me your EMAIL address in the comment or in your profile, so I can contact you if you are the winner.) Just imagine how much you’ll enjoy wearing these designs once cool weather finally gets here! If you can’t wait to win, order your copies of Crochet Ponchos and Cool Weather Fashions now! Both books are also available as downloads— Crochet Ponchos eBook and Cool Weather Fashions eBook!
You might also want to take a peek at all of Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s crochet pattern books from Leisure Arts! Cool designs for everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hats & Mittens to Knit!

Is it too early to be wishing for a snow day? Well, it is almost Labor Day, so many of us have turned our thoughts toward creating fashions for cooler weather. If you’re a knitter in search of hats and mittens, you’re gonna love our new knit pattern book — Snow Day Sets to Knit by Lila Sargent!
Snow Day Sets to Knit
Everybody bundle up! The days of snowmen and sledding are on their way, so why not get your family ready now? These toasty hats and matching mittens by Lila Sargent are excellent chill chasers, and they're sized for toddlers through adults. All seven sets and an extra pair of mittens use medium weight yarn—and the patterns are easy for anyone with intermediate knitting skills. We also include instructions to work on 2 or 4 needles! There is a delicious hot cocoa recipe everyone will enjoy, too. Designs include Basic Mittens, Perfectly Pink Mittens, Winter in the Tropics Set, Winter Sunshine Set, Snow Drift Set, Red Berries Set, Blue Ice Set, Red Raspberry Set, and Evergreen Set.

Winter in the Tropics Set & Perfectly Pink Mittens
Snow Drift Set & Winter Sunshine Set
Blue Ice Set & Red Berries Set
Evergreen Set & Red Raspberry Set
Meet The Designer: Lila Sargent!
Lila Sargent used to knit all the time when she lived in Maine, but she stopped for a while after moving to Florida to spend time with her newborn grandson in 1990. "But then a couple of years ago my youngest son passed away and I needed something to help me relax," she said. "I started knitting–and filled up the house with sweaters! Eventually, I donated all those sweaters to charity and started designing hats and mittens."
Get your copy of Lila’s Snow Day Sets to Knit today and get a head start on your mission to bundle up everyone you love! Our Snow Day Sets to Knits eBook is also available!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fons & Porter Quilt Pattern Books — The 3 Newest!

I harbor a deep love of quilting, so if you actually quilt, you have my deepest admiration! Right now, I’m looking at the pretty pictures in the three newest additions to the Leisure Arts series of the Best of Fons & Porter quilt pattern books and dreaming…If I could actually quilt…which of the 67 total designs would I make if I could? Wanna take a peek at some of my favorites?
Best of Fons & Porter: Tips and Techniques
The editors of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine share 225 tips and Sew Easy lessons to make quilting easier and more accurate in the first of these new quilt pattern books. This great collection includes ideas for organizing fabrics and tools, safety tips, and clever new ways to use everyday items. Trademarked Sew Easy lessons provide step-by-step photography for a variety of special techniques such as Quick Triangle-Squares, Mirror Images, Mitering Corners, Paper Foundation Piecing, Piped Binding, Strip Sets, Sewing Curved Seams, and Windowing Fusible Appliqué. Also included are 13 quilt projects that use the skills covered in the lessons. Choose the one that's right for you and learn a new technique!

Berry Wreath & Grandmother's Daisy Garden

Pick-Up Sticks & Luminosity Stars
Best of Fons & Porter: Fun Quilts for Kids
This fun collection of quilts that kids will love compiles 27 of the best quilts from Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. Designs feature themes on space, cowboys, penguins, charming flowers, fairies, vibrant geometrics, and more. Each quilt is shown in full color, accompanied by an assembly diagram, a complete materials list, and step-by-step instructions. There are projects for all skill levels, as well as styles from soft and sweet to bold and bright. Fons & Porter's popular Sew Easy lessons, which include step-by-step photography or diagrams, are included with some patterns to provide a little extra help with special techniques.
Speedy & Anna Lena
Penguin Party & Ziggity Zaggity
Best of Fons & Porter: Star Quilts
Star quilts are one of the most popular patterns with quilters, and the sky's the limit when it comes to the variety of star patterns that can be found. Patterns range from simple Ohio Stars to intricate paper foundation pieced designs. Quilts in this book from the editors of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine and its special editions include a spectacular Mariner's Compass, a beloved Lone Star, a unique slanted star, and a variety of other traditional Star patterns for all skill levels. Each quilt is shown in a lifestyle photograph and an assembly diagram, accompanied by a complete materials list and step-by-step instructions.

Teeny Tiny Stars & 
Conestoga Star
Hunter Star & Mariner’s in a Pickle
Meet The Designers: Marianne Fons and Liz Porter!
Marianne Fons and Liz Porter have been working together for more than 30 years. From teaching quilting classes in the 1970s and 80s, they went on to host the No. 1 quilting show on public television and establish the popular magazine, Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting. They also operate a quilt shop in Winterset, Iowa, and a web site, www.fonsandporter.com.
If you want to look at some pretty pictures or actually create some beautiful quilts yourself, order your copies of Best of Fons & Porter: Tips and Techniques, Best of Fons & Porter: Fun Quilts for Kids, and Best of Fons & Porter: Star Quilts today.

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