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Designer Guest Blog

  • Knit Cardigans: 12 Luxurious Sweaters Will Become Your Favorites

    Hello Everyone!

    My name is Andi Javori and I am a knitwear designer living in New York. I design for my own company Javori Designs as well as for many other yarn companies and knitting magazines. I’ve worked with Leisure Arts on a number of knitting books and my latest one is Knit Cardigans.

    Who doesn’t love the feeling of a cozy and warm sweater or cardigan? I love opening my closet and seeing my go to sweater on the shelf. My favorite cardigan to me is like an “old friend”; very familiar, extremely comfortable, and always there when needed.

    When I first started to think about writing a book of cardigans, I thought about designs that I would love to wear myself.

    I am often asked the question “What inspires you?” The answer to this is quite simple, the materials. Today there is such a wonderful variety of yarns to choose from. I love combining different stitch patterns that really make the yarn come to life.

    Inside my new book you will find a versatile collection of stylish cardigans and sweaters that utilize a variety of yarns, styles and techniques. All of the patterns are offered from sizes Small to 3X including schematics. So if you’ve never knitted this type of project before, or if you’re an advanced knitter, there’s something here for everybody!

    SOME OF MY DESIGNS FROM THE BOOK

    Cabled Edge Cardigan

    This simple yet elegant cardigan is one of my favorites! The woven cable pattern around the edge of the cardigan is all you need to give this project that classic look. You can wear this to the office or dress it up with a pair of dress pants for a night out at your favorite restaurant. I love this beautiful grey yarn, but you can use any other colors that you love.

    Cowl Neck Sweater

    I’ve always loved cowl neck sweaters. The use of double moss stitch pattern along with the contrasting yarn colors make the cowl stand out from the body of the sweater. This is an easy pattern to follow.

    Fur Edged Cardigan

    This cardigan has a basket weave textured front with unique sleeves that you are going to love! The fur edge on this cardigan feels so soft around your neck.

    Striped Cardigan

    The stripes on the bottom half and the contrasting texture on top give this cardigan a very unique look. This will go with almost everything in your closet. It’s a lot easier to make than it looks!

    V-Neck Sweater

    This is the ultimate weekend sweater! The broken rib pattern along with the use of a pretty variegated yarn make this sweater very rich looking. This is great to throw on as you go about your errands!

    Lacy Cardigan

    This elegant cardigan uses a simple lace stitch that is very easy to knit. This is a pretty cardigan that’s great for a night out on the town.

    I loved working on this book. Designing cardigans and sweaters is truly a fun and rewarding experience.  I wish to thank everyone at Leisure Arts for their support and for giving me the opportunity to publish great knitting books!

    Please join me on Facebook and on Instragram at Javori Designs and visit my website at www.Javoridesigns.com where you can easily be in touch with me!

    Knit, Wear and Enjoy!

    Andi Javori

  • After-School Kids' Crafts: Make Crafts & Memories

    Craft projects for kids have never been so adorable. In our newest kids' craft book, After-School Kids' Crafts, you'll find 12 playful projects to make memories with your favorite children! Today's Guest Blogger, Rachel Nipper, is here to share her inspiration for her colorful crafts. Welcome Rachael!

    Hi there, I’m Rachel Nipper, designer of the projects and patterns in Leisure Arts’ recent publication Afterschool Kids’ Crafts. I have a passion for encouraging parents to share arts and crafts time with their children so seeing some of my projects in print for the first time gives me so much joy! Many thanks to Leisure Arts for helping bring this dream of mine to life.

    screen-shot-2018-05-03-at-4-15-34-pm After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My love for creating started at a very young age. Every year the night before Easter morning my Mom would set out brown paper lunch bags, markers, stickers and other craft materials on the kitchen table and would give my siblings and I the assignment to create our own Easter baskets. At the time it never occurred to me that we did this every year because of a lack of finances. Rather, it became a tradition that I looked forward to every year. My Easter basket started out as a simple paper bag decorated with stickers and markers but as I got older my creativity blossomed into cutting paper bag strips and literally weaving them into a beautiful paper basket.

    It was opportunities like this as a child that created a passion in me for the art of creating and it is something I have tried to pass along to my own children. The joy I felt while creating when I was a child is the inspiration behind the projects you’ll find in Afterschool Kids’ Crafts. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites from the book with you today.

    Flower Headband in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper Flower Headband in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My favorite project in the book was inspired by my beautiful daughter. She plays dress up any chance she gets so I wanted to design a project she could make with me that could be added to her dress up wardrobe and worn over and over again. I layered the felt flowers with different colors and added a contrasting colored button to make the felt headband pop with color.

    Movable Head Turtle in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper Movable Head Turtle in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you follow my kids’ crafts blog you know how much I adore making puppets. Not only do kids get a creative experience with making the puppet but it becomes something they can play with afterwards. This cute turtle puppet is a fabulous way for kids to practice sewing stitches and it also doubles as the cutest little toy, pushing the little turtle head in and out of his shell.

    Butterfly Finger Puppets in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper Butterfly Finger Puppets in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper
    Jellyfish Finger Puppets in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper Jellyfish Finger Puppets in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You’ll also find these adorable butterfly finger puppets and colorful jellyfish puppets inside the book.

    https://www.leisurearts.com/afterschool-kids-crafts-1.html Unicorn in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Growing up I loved having a creative space in my bedroom for me to hang up artwork and pictures. This beautiful unicorn hoop art project was designed with that in mind. Kids can practice their sewing skills and then have a finished, beautiful project to display on their wall.

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    Another one of my favorites from the book is this simple felt owl purse. Once children have the hang of making a simple running stitch, this darling purse is a perfect beginning sewing project. With so many different color options of felt available, kids will love getting to choose a unique look for their owl purse.

    Key Chain in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper Key Chain in After-School Kids' Crafts by Rachel Nipper

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There’s something extra special about receiving a gift that someone spent time creating don’t you think? This was the inspiration behind these darling wooden bead tassel keychains. My daughter loves making gifts for her best friends and these keychains are a simple and affordable homemade gift that children can enjoy making for friends, teachers and family members.

    Now that you’ve had a chance to see some of the fun projects in the book, it’s time to get crafty with your kids afterschool! I hope you and your children create fond memories with the patterns and activities in After-School Kids' Crafts.

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