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I Can't Believe

  • Sock Weather!

    Happy first day of Autumn, y’all! I’m so looking forward to the cooler temps, changing leaf colors, and sock weather! I’m generally a run-around-the-house-barefoot kinda girl, but as the temps drop in Arkansas, there’s nothing better than a nice thick pair of handmade socks.

    I’ve been eyeing Karen Ratto-Whooley’s I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks book with the thought that I might actually try my hand at crocheting a pair for myself. She’s developed some great basic toe-up and cuff-down designs for a total of 9 patterns with easy to follow step-by-step instructions!

    I really like this pair of Ripple Socks!

    If you’re a sock knitter (or you aspire to be a sock knitter), there are a lot of pattern choices out there! Novice knitters might want to take a look at I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks by Cindy Guggemos. It offers up everything you need to know to knit socks and includes 10 fun patterns.

    I’m sort of coveting these Basic Chevron Socks!

    If you’re really into knitted socks, you’re going to love the patterns in another book from Cindy Guggemos—A Cuff Above featuring 23 designs for everyday, for baby, and for the holidays!

    I haven’t had knee socks since elementary school, but I’m thinking that I’d really appreciate the added warmth from Cindy’s Annelise Knee Socks this winter…

    …but I’m also kinda liking these pretty Ivy Socks—probably ’cause they’re green.

    Ready for a walk on the really creative side of sock knitting? Seek your inspiration from Lena Maikon’s Knitted Comfort For The Sole! (I’m thinking The Cat and I would have a lot of fun with the Snow Falling on Socks pattern shown on the front cover!)

    I also have to admit that I really want a Lucky Leather Sock Pocket (instructions are included in the book) to hide my house key in (shown here on these Zingy Zigzag Socks).

    Could you resist taking these Mutt-ering Around Slippers for a walk around your house?

    And I’m pretty sure that the warm wonderfulness of a pair of these Traditionally Cable Socks would simply make me very happy!

  • National Sewing Month Challenge!

    September is National Sewing Month, so we need to celebrate sewing! To that end, I’m issuing a challenge! (I don’t sew…sewing machines frighten me, so this challenge is for me, too.) Let’s learn to sew for National Sewing Month!

    Leisure Arts has the book we need to get started—Pat Sloan’s I Can’t Believe I’m Sewing.

    Check out the table of contents! Pat will walk us through:

    • the parts of a sewing machine plus its cleaning & care (sometimes, it’s more than I can handle just taking care of the cat, so wish me luck...)

    • how to go about actually sewing with a machine

    • what we need to know about fabric (other than it’s pretty & we covet it)

    • what to do with thread & notions like pins, rippers, rotary cutters (scary things), and other goodies

    Pat also offers up an assortment of projects to inspire us—

    Coaster Set

    Table Runner

    Baby Blanket

    Shower Curtain & Valance

    And more!

    There’s even a short section on quilting (if you get really brave)!

    Are you up for the sewing challenge???

  • I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens

    Looking for a new knitting challenge? Learn how to knit mittens! Mittens are the perfect small projects to carry along on all your summer travels, and they make excellent Christmas presents! (Hint: I really like the handwarmers and mitts!)

    To get you off to a good start on your mitten knitting adventure, Leisure Arts has added a new how-to book to our ever-expanding I Can’t Believe series—I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens by Cynthia Guggemos, and it includes everything you need to know on the subject: step-by-step instructions, diagrams, great photography, and more. All you need is basic knitting skills plus yarn and needles, and you’re ready to go!

    Check out the projects that you could be knitting up in no time with I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens:

    Basic Mittens (each section is knit with a different color so you can easily distinguish between them)

    Cabled Cuff Mittens

    Autumn Woods Mittens

    Quick & Easy Handwarmers

    Cabled Mittens

    Victorian Mitts

    Partridge Eye Mittens

    Northland Mittens

  • Seriously, Sewing?

    I’ve been known to tell folks in the past that sewing machines frighten me…or perhaps should be frightened of me. I have a long, sad history with sewing machines. Remember how I said that my grandmother tried to teach me to quilt? What really happened was that she tried to teach me until I broke her sewing machine—then, she was done. My seventh grade home economics teacher assigned me to make a skirt, but after the third sewing machine paradoxically stopped working, she let me write a paper about food instead. My parents gave me a brand new sewing machine when I was in high school. I inexplicably killed it the first time I plugged it in. After I’d been married to her son for a number of years, my mother-in-law offered me her in-perfect-condition sewing machine housed in a beautiful antique cabinet. “Oh, you can’t hurt it,” she said. It soon came to function as a really pretty end table in my living room—’cause it doesn’t run anymore. And now, x-number of years later, the Love-Of-My-Life has actually paid money and bought me another brand new sewing machine. What was he thinking? I’m terrified…do you think Pat Sloan can save me if I try to learn to sew in honor of National Craft Month?

    That’s Pat! You’ve seen her on my blog before.

    And that’s her book—I Can’t Believe I’m Sewing, which I’m hoping will keep me from taking the life of yet another sewing machine, plus I’m really coveting those tote bags Pat’s clutching.

    In I Can’t Believe I’m Sewing, Pat teaches everything a beginner needs to know about:

    • Finding, using, and maintaining a sewing machine
    • Buying fabrics, threads, and notions
    • All the basics of sewing in a Sewing Primer
    • Basic quilting
    • Plus 18 really cool baby, gift, and home projects like coasters, a table runner, a scarf, baby blankets, those great totes I previously mentioned, shower curtains, pillows, and more!

    I hope I Can’t Believe I’m Sewing helps me overcome my run of sewing machine mishaps ’cause Leisure Arts also has another sewing book I’m really excited about—Mary Engelbreit’s Sew, So Cute!

    Along with the aprons and pincushions, potholders and pillows, and more in this book, I want to make my very own chenille Bunny Rabbit in time for Easter. I mean, really, a girl can dream, right?

  • Consider Quilting!

    Who doesn’t love a beautiful quilt? I’ll have to show you some of my collection someday. I’ve got a thing for vintage quilts in particular…in fact, The Love-Of-My-Life has firmly requested that I don’t bring any more home until I find a better way to store or display for the ones I’ve got. Do you have any suggestions? (I think he’d actually prefer I find a completely new home for most of them…)

    Currently, I don’t actually quilt myself (I just appreciate the creativity of others), but I’m thinking about it. I’m seeing a crazy quilt in my future. What about you? If you’re considering learning to quilt, take a look at our Leisure Arts I Can’t Believe series from designer/teacher Pat Sloan:

    I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting

    This is our beginner’s complete guide to quilting, and Pat shares all her secrets for selecting fabric, choosing the right tools, precise piecing, perfect quilting, quilting by hand and machine, binding, finishing touches, and more. The book features six skill-building lessons that include instructions for these projects: Nine-Patch Block, Nine-Patch Table Runner, Rail Fence Quilt, Nine-Patch Wall Hanging, Friendship Star Table Runner, and Variable Star Quilt.

    I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting: Beyond the Basics

    Have you mastered quilting basics? Ready to try the next level? Then, this is the book for you. Inside, Pat introduces you to her easy methods for making Flying Geese, how to speed the quilt-making process with Chain Piecing, and the secrets to perfect Curved Piecing. You will also experience the fun of Paper-Piecing, give your quilt a different look by setting Blocks on Point, and much more! Each technique is presented in lesson form with a quick-to-finish companion project—including quilts, wall hangings, and a table runner.

  • National Craft Month—Try Cross Stitch!

    If you’ve never experimented with cross stitch before, devotees will tell you that stitching all those little Xs is easy and addicting. If you’d like to give it a try, Leisure Arts has the perfect beginner’s guide—I Can’t Believe I’m Cross Stitching. This book tells you everything you need to know and then some—how to choose your fabric, needles, and floss, how to read charts and color keys—even step-by-step instructions for the exclusive Leisure Arts’ Stitch ’n Paint and Stamp ’n Stitch techniques. It also includes 12 simple yet wonderful projects to create with your new skill! (Don’t you love the birdy pincushion on the front cover? Too cute!)

    Once those sneaky Xs have you obsessed…You’re going to need a great basic cross stitch book to keep your hands occupied. You’ll love The Best of Cross Stitch Basics featuring 108 classic designs! We’ve included baby bibs, florals, samplers, bookmarks, alphabets—something for everybody—from some of our favorite artists: Lynn Waters Busa, Jane Chandler, Deborah A. Lambein, Donna Vemillion Giampa, Carol Emmer, and Paula Vaughan.
  • Sock Blog Tour Day 12

    Stop in for the last day of Karen Ratto-Whooley’s I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks Blog Tour today! She’ll be at:

    March 16: Jocelyn Sass – Cute Crochet Chat

  • Sock Blog Tour Day 11

    Visit Karen Ratto-Whooley’s I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks Blog Tour today! She’ll be at:

    March 15: Laurie Wheeler – Crochet Liberation Front

  • Sock Blog Tour Day 10

    Be sure to stop by Karen Ratto-Whooley’s I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks Blog Tour today! She’ll be at:

    March 14: Mary Jane Hall – Positively Crochet

  • Sock Blog Tour Day 9

    Drop by Karen Ratto-Whooley’s I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks Blog Tour today for the lastest! She’ll be at:

    March 11: Andee Graves – Mama’s 2 Hands

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