Fibre & Stitch is a new “online mixed media zine,” available as a PDF download and focused on mixed-media projects combining fibre, paper, paint, and other art forms. The zine is 62 pages worth of articles, interviews, and detailed tutorials for a range of projects and techniques, published four times each year, and available through one-time purchase or subscription.
Projects include a fun candy-wrapper box, sun printing on fabric, paper quilting, and beautiful collaged and stitched “door” art pieces.
Each project is given several pages of detailed instructions and step-by-step progress pictures. I found the instructions consistently easy to follow and understand even if the techniques and materials used were new to me.
The website also offers many free project tutorials; I love the fabric charms – these could look so modern or charming and cute, depending upon the fabrics and colors chosen. A reader-submitted version even used the instructions to make cheerful magnets!
With the massive handmade sock swap attracting 1,000 participants around the world in its fourth go-round, Sockapalooza outgrew the group Blogger site and quick-thinking organizer Alison and crew came up with a brilliant Plan B and developed a new site for the knitalongers, Knit Pligg. Knit Pligg is a Digg-like site in which all the registered Sockapalooza participants can submit their blog posts as stories, vote on the posts they enjoy, and easily browse new content, but the Knit Pligg is meant for voting specifically on posts about the Sockapalooza 4 knitalong. You can register and vote even if you aren’t knitting along, and of course you can watch the goings-on by visiting the Blogger site (which now has plenty of room for knitalongers who don’t have their own blogs to post and share their progress) or the Knit Pligg site (check out the FAQ for more info).
Very savvy merging of knitting and technology!
Wee Wonderfuls Presents “Kitty, Bunny, and Bear,” self-published by Hillary Lang of Wee Wonderfuls, is a 3-in-1 pattern book with instructions for making irresistibly cute softies.
The directions are clear, friendly, and thorough enough for a beginner, and helpful hints are sprinkled throughout in Hillary’s inviting voice. The collar details and fantastic shoes (the fringed loafers made my heart skip a beat) are some of the mix and match elements in the book that give you plenty of options to personalize your toys. One of my favorite things about Hillary’s designs is that the simple, sweet shapes of the dolls become a terrific canvas for adding embellishments and trying something new and different that will really give each softie its own personality. Check out the Flickr Group Pool to see all the adorable interpretations; I really love the Boy Shoes by Liz Harvatine.
The dolls are quick to piece together, but it takes patience for the finishing. It took me as much time to stuff the toys as it did to sew them; I found the eraser end of a pencil helpful for firmly stuffing all the way to the ends of the legs through the small openings. The finished softies were all huge hits with my youngest cousins; the four-year-old has slept with his bear “Cookie” every night! You can buy the Put-together book in the Wee Wonderfuls Store.