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!

2014-11-23 14.10.54

 

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!

2014-11-23 14.11.10

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!

2014-11-23 14.11.51

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

2014-11-23 14.12.12

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.

PLY MAGAZINE: a Rave and a review

I have been following PLY magazine on FB for a while now and been drooling over their issues as they came out. Sadly it is not in my budget to subscribe to it at this point.

Somehow I got talking to talking to Jacey Boggs Faulkner, Editor in Chief of the magazine and wonderful person all round. Anyway, she was sweet enough to comp me an issue (or was it really evil???? Because now I am obsessed with saving up for a subscription) for review.

Well. The Community issue arrived here just a few days ago. OH BOY. What can I say?

How about ITSABSOLUTELYAWESOMEANDILOVEIT! Seriously, this magazine is amazing. SO MUCH INFO! The ads in it are decent and do not distract you from the experience,  like in so many other magazines these days.

I rather love the idea of a magazine gathering it’s content around a theme, rather than just the seasons for once. There is so much to sink your teeth into with a theme. So many variants to explore!

The Fall issue is all about community. Let me just cite you some of the articles in it: Communities through time and art (my favourite one!), Shetland Sheep & Wool: A crossover of communities, Ravelers spin together. See what I mean it’s all about community?

2014-10-10 13.18.51

The other amazing thing are the patterns in the magazine. They are beautiful and wearable. The patterns consist of a SPIN IT section (the designer explains about how she spun the yarn for the project, gives you the specs of the wool and the finished yarn you will be aiming for and general encouragement to go try it for yourself). Then there is the pattern itself, as we are used to them in other knitting/spinning magazines. I find PLY’s patterns clearly written and very detailed. I love that it’s not all squished together. The patterns have room and are nicely formatted. It’s very easy to follow them and not lose your place. The patterns in this magazine are for a really really cute cardigan, a fun hat and a shawl. There is something for everyone! If you want a big, sink your teeth into project, or just something little and quick for that bit of fluff, you just could not say no to at the fibre fair.2014-10-10 13.19.41 2014-10-10 13.20.03

Ads.. well, it is a magazine and it does have to make money. There are ads. HOWEVER, they are decently placed on the edges of the articles. You do not have to flip through pages and pages in a row. I really DO appreciate that! I hope that won’t change.

The magazine is 104 pages of INFO, ENCOURAGEMENT and FIBRE. It’s a catalog lol I am smitten!

2014-10-10 13.19.12

When you get this magazine (see how I said WHEN? Because I URGE YOU to go subscribe to it), go make yourself a nice cup of tea, or coffee, or chocolate (or grab a glass of wine) and make yourself comfortable. This is a READ not a brows and look at pictures magazine. Although the photos in PLY magazine are really wonderful shots and some are supplied by the readers themselves. There are frequent shout outs and requests on the PLY FB page for photos of sheep or diverse other things. I love this level of inclusion of the readers. I find it wonderful to see a community come together and create something so inspiring.

Of course the big part of the work is done by the editors and photographers. To them I would like to extend a big THANK YOU! and Please continue the hard work you have put in so far. It is amazing and wonderful and worth every penny!

Want to subscribe now, or contribute to the magazine? Here you go!

Review: Little One-Yard Wonders: Irresistible Clothes, Toys, and Accessories You Can Make for Babies and Kids

Little One-Yard Wonders: Irresistible Clothes, Toys, and Accessories You Can Make for Babies and Kids
Little One-Yard Wonders: Irresistible Clothes, Toys, and Accessories You Can Make for Babies and Kids by Patricia Hoskins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok… I got this book for review and my first thought was: Aaawww, I don’t have little ones….
Then I opened the book.
Oh my gosh! I LOVE everything about this book! I love (nearly) all the patterns in it. I ADORE the fabric choices! I love how easy to understand the instructions are.

PLEASE, WRITE MORE BOOKS LIKE THIS ONE!

If you know me, I do not often give five stars….but this one deserves it.

The fabrics chosen for the samples in the book were absolutely delightful! They made you want to run out and get sewing. I kid you not! One of the few times, I actually read the source in the back of the book, to see where I can get these scrumptious fabrics.

The patterns in the book are relatively easy and straight forward. They are cute and practical and a few whimsical ones.

As I was sitting and squeeee-ing over the book, my daughter came to check it out with me and even she (18 year old teenager) thought the patters were absolutely adorable and she found a few things she would like to make to use for herself. (no, no babies on the way, or even in our circle of friends, just really great ideas on the pillow and bag- front)

All in all: If you even have a remote chance of having a little one around the house and are a seamstress: GET THIS BOOK! Even if you DON’T have little ones, this book will inspire you to get sewing! It certainly has for me!

View all my reviews