books

Review — The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop — four out of five stars

18796087Beginner, or intermediate crocheters will get a lot of use out of this book.

I specially like books, that help people to make their own project dreams come true. This book definitely qualifies for this category. It will help you build your skills and add new and fun techniques to your repertoire page after page.

Starting out with fibre choice all the way to finishing techniques.
On today’s market, there are tons of yarns and it can be hard to pick the perfect one, if one is still new to all of this. The book begins with help on choosing yarn and explaining a bit about how it is manufactured. It gives an overview of yarn weight and what the finished fabric will look like in the different fibre qualities.

It doesn’t only explain how to put one crochet stitch on top of the next, but it has an entire chapter on crochet with different colours. How to add a new colour to your project and how to do tapestry crochet.
Another chapter deals with crocheting in the round and one with shaping. So in case you want to make a sweater, or cardigan as your first project, don’t despair! With this book you will be able to in no time!

Almost everything is explained in writing and with pictures. The writing is easily to understand and if there is a tricky technique to be mastered, the pictures are right there to clear up any questions that might come up.

I gave this book to my daughter to look over and see what she had to say. She does crochet, but not a lot. She appreciated the idea of the stitch along swatches and we both were thinking of making them, just so we could sew them together for a finished blanket in the end. (It is on our to do list, but at the moment pushed aside, since we are working like mad on putting the studio together) .

This book will be a staple in the “further reading” list I provide to my students, and it will sit on a shelf in my studio, for anyone to read and get inspired.

This book has instructions to the crocodile stitch as well. A lot of people came in the shop and were asking for instructions to this stitch. It has been out for a while now, but it usually does not appear in any of the older crochet help books. So it was very nice to see that added to the content.

Another really wonderful addition is a section about hand health. I find it important to keep your tools in perfect working order and your body is certainly on top of that list!

I recommend it very much to beginning crocheters everywhere.

Review: The Knowledgeable Knitter: From Planning Your Project to Fitting and Finishing, All You Need to Know to Unlock Your Knitting Potential

The Knowledgeable Knitter: From Planning Your Project to Fitting and Finishing, All You Need to Know to Unlock Your Knitting Potential
The Knowledgeable Knitter: From Planning Your Project to Fitting and Finishing, All You Need to Know to Unlock Your Knitting Potential by Margaret Radcliffe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a book! I have been knitting for a loooooong time (no, you may not ask for how long, and I have done pretty much everything one can do with the art, but I love having a place to check up on HOW I do these things. One cannot possibly keep everything in one’s memory!

Margaret Radcliffe is an incredible enabler!

The knowledgeable knitter is one of those treasure chest books.

It sits on your book shelf, minding it’s own business, until you try to do a dart in your next project and come heck or high water, you cannot remember for the life of you, how you did it that last time, 8 years ago….Pull out the book! It’s right in there!

So many other techniques and little tricks and tips.

I know I like to fall back on my “favourite” techniques, forgetting that there is so much more out there! I love having books like the knowledgeable knitter around. They tend to remind me, that there is SO MUCH MORE. There is another way, just around the corner. Yes, they may be ways we have wandered a long time ago, but completely forgotten about. there may have to be a bit of dusting off the cobwebs, but that’s why the book is here to help!

It’s an external memory bank, to put it in 21st century terms.

Not just for knowledgeable knitters however, this book is almost indispensable for new knitters! Jump out of your box and try something aside from a dishcloth! Hey! I LOVE dishcloths, but honestly, knitting is nothing to be afraid of. Try a sweater! I promise, with this book, it will be a success!

Want to go all out and make a cabled sweater? No problem! The book has a section on how to shape while cabling!

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Daring steeks for the first time? Ok. Let’s do it. there is a chapter on that as well! And not only how to cut open your sweater. It gives advice on how to enlarge necklines by cutting off part of the knitting! YES! I love this! I love not being scared of taking your scissors to your knitting! I do it when need be. With this book, you know it is possible and it will tell you exactly how to and you don’t have to worry!

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And then there were the seams. Well… not everything can be knitted with little to no finishing. Again Margaret Radcliffe to the rescue! Detailed pictures and intelligent, easy to understand instructions will make this a cinch!

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This book will take you from starting the design, to finishing the project. Every step is explained and taught with photos and explanations.

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I LOVE helping my students to go beyond patterns and go their own way. just you, your yarn and your ideas! I adore that this book, because it enables you to do just that!

Do yourself a favour. Get this book for your library!

Want to read along?

10410604_1062620797166708_592420682137600437_nLearn more on our Facebook page! There are also links to download the book for free from B&N, or Project Gutenberg.

(I am putting the links here as well, just in case you are not on FB)

Nook (free): http://preview.tinyurl.com/nwl3m3z

Amazon (will cost $1):  http://preview.tinyurl.com/k4qc6j3

Project Gutenberg (free): http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/583

Google Play (will cost $2): http://preview.tinyurl.com/purqydw

It’s also free on ibooks. sorry, no link.

Review: How to Knit: Learn the Basic Stitches and Techniques. A Storey Basics® Title

How to Knit: Learn the Basic Stitches and Techniques. A Storey Basics® Title
How to Knit: Learn the Basic Stitches and Techniques. A Storey Basics® Title by Leslie Ann Bestor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Leslie Ann Bestor is also the author of Cast On, Bind Off. A book I heartily approve of and have recommended to many a customer and student of mine.

This new book of hers is not deviating from her previously displayed excellence. I love the easy to understand instructions and the general voice of the book.

Aside from teaching you how to create the knit and purl stitches Mrs. Bestor gives lots of information on other things important to knitting, but often overlooked, such as choosing a needle that is right FOR YOU!, how to fix mistakes and runaway stitches, why gauge matters, yarn sizes and measurements, how to read patterns and charts, and how to recognize what stitches create which fabric.

Everything is brought to you with a little bit of humor to keep things light. I adore her style of writing.

I believe any willing novice can learn to knit with this book, without frustration in a short while.

I will certainly recommend this book to people without ready internet access and even with the internet. It’s always nice to have a little guide in your knitting bag, to just quickly look up what comes next. Internet is not always available in all the places we like to knit!

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Review: How to Crochet: Learn the Basic Stitches and Techniques

How to Crochet: Learn the Basic Stitches and Techniques
How to Crochet: Learn the Basic Stitches and Techniques by Sara Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book for beginning crocheters.

If you ever wanted to learn how to crochet, but don’t have anybody to show you how, or a LYS around you to take a class, there are plenty of books to help. Some with greater success than others. This is one of the good ones. Trust me, I teach crochet and knitting for a living.

Easy to understand, concise instructions will make sure you are not getting lost, or confused with too much input at the same time.

I find the trick to start practice on a piece of tulle quite smart and might use it in my classes from time to time.

The book walks you through the importance of Gauge in your crochet. An important step, if you want to make garments that fit the intended recipient. Many first time classes forget all about it. I know I drone on in my classes about gauge and try to make it second nature for my students to check it before starting a project.

Aside from showing you how to perform the stitches and an entire chapter on gauge (Yes, it IS that important!!!) Mrs. Delaney also has a chapter on finishing your work. Sewing in ends, changing yarns, adding an edge and finishing off with blocking your piece. I find it incredibly important that this is also given. The student is not just left with the finished square, to fend for themselves. A lot of people don’t know, a hand crochet piece will look infinitely better after blocking. Not to mention HOW to block it.

Of course, there is lots of information to be had online, however, not everyone is connected at all times or can access it readily. A book on the other hand will wait patiently in your bag, or on a shelf until you are ready.
Also: Although there are tons of youtube videos, if you don’t know what to search for, you won’t find it. I think a good mix between youtube and this book should set you up just fine.

I will definitely let my students know about this book, to have something to look things up, after the class is done and they just need a small reminder.

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