Friday, 19 July 2013

Review of Crochet Unravelled



Book Depository Link; Ravelry Link; Dublin City Public Libraries

Claire Bojczuk

This is a very good, ambidexterous guide to Crocheting.  The instructions are clearly done for both left and right handed crocheters, side by side, down to a clearly illustrated granny square done by both left and right-handed crocheters.  A breath of fresh air for those of us who need instructions for left-handed use (now if she'd only shown crab stitch, trying to work that out left-handed was a head-wrecker.

The book is divided into two parts, the instructions and the projects, and the projects are simple and good starter pieces.  Usefully, right beside the illustrations of the projects in the centre of the book you have instructions for reading charts on one side and UK/USA terminology and hook size with suggested yarn weight alongside.

Projects include a Bracelet, (illustrated inside the cover) simply made with a plaited edge, the instructions are both written and charted.

Hair Scrunchie (also illustrated inside the cover)- again written and charted instructions

Bottle Bag (also illustrated inside the cover)- another one charted and written

A Daisy Facecloth is a modification to a granny square with a picot edging, charted except the centre, also written.

Love Heart Soap Sachet - charted and written

Traditional booties - charted and written

Cobweb Cover is a blanket and is written and charted.

Flower Cushion  - motifs sewn together to create a cushion.  Could be made in two sets of colours for variety. - charted and written

Chevron Scarf - is a pretty scarf that would lend itself well to all sorts of yarn - charted and written

Skullcap, a hat that starts from the centre and works down so would be adaptable for a variety of yarns and adaptable to make it bigger if necessary.  Again charted and written.

Tee-shirt edgings uses beeds and is edging that could be used anywhere.

It's a good basic starter book and also would be useful as a reference for more experienced crocheters, a worthwhile book for most crocheters libraries.

I got this copy from Dublin City Public Libraries where I work, who don't offer me any inducement other than access to the titles and my wages.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Review of Fantistical Hats and Beanies



  Book Depository Link; strangely none on Ravelry. Dublin City Public Libraries

 Fantastical Hats and Beanies - Jenny Occleshaw

These are hats for babies knit in dk or 4-ply yarns, knit mostly in the round and they are somewhat insane, and I mean that in a good insane way.  They're almost works of art and a lot of work.

Starting with Busy Bee, with feelers and emroidered bees, I'm sure the embroidered bees could be replaced with buttons or pre-made bees.  Pretty simple and cute

Apple Blossom - "This is a delightful hat for any little girl who loves pink" now when you're talking about 18 months to 4 years I have problems that this is a personal choice speaking or parental choice, but this is a white hat with dark and pale pink ruffles.  The ruffles are crocheted on after the hat is made.  Cute and could be made in other colours as a use up leftovers project.

Little Ladybird uses bobbles in black yarn on a red hat, cute.  The bobbles are made after and sewn on.

Baby flowers uses pre-made felt flowers to decorate a plain hat.

Cheeky Elf uses noro yarn and applied i-cord leaves.

The Great Gatsby is a beret, scarf and shoes set inspired by the 1920s, fair-isle bands with a tweedy yarn.  This is cute and while suggested for boys is fairly unisex.

Ladybird, ladybird has more complex ladybirds applied after the striped hat is finished.

Moonbeam is a nightcap style striped hat with some knitted balls added attached with i-cords

Baby Jester, knit in the round with two peaks, knitted balls finish of the tops

Hello Sailor is a floppy beret with beads and some matched slippers. Cute.

Pearly Queen, with pearly buttons on the top and a ribbon to tie it on, this one could be troublesome for teething babies.

Black Magic - Black mohair and velvet with polka-dot knitted balls, looks like a cupcake.

Coconut Ice - pink with kid mohair flowers in pinks. "Perfect for the little princess who loves all things pink and flowery" shades my perception of this hat.

Feathered Fancy - multicoloured with flower and feather decoration this one needs close supervision when worn.

Bluebells Cockleshells - uses blue oddments and has added bluebells and cornflower flowers.

Butterfly uses variagated striped yarn to create an interesting contrast to the plain yarns used.  Has applied butterflies and bobble on the top.

Polka Dots, simple beany topped with red and white knitted balls and i-cords and an optional ribbon.

Chasing Rainbows uses multiple colours to make a colourful hat with stripes, bobbles and icord top knots.

Blue Top Knot is a blue variation of the polka dots pattern.

Starting from about here I was starting to think about tea cozies.

Cherry Ripe has cherries and leaves to decorate this red white and green hat

Strawberries and Cream, bobbles, beaded strawberries and leaves decorate this hat.

Twist and twirl has curly tails and bobbles and topknots and balls, a way to use up leftovers.

Loopy hat. Not a hat for a baby who dislikes hats as the 30 loops would make it very easy to catch on fingers.  finished off with knitted balls.

Carnival looks like a carnival ride with multiple adornments.

Socks on the Washing line - 6 miniature socks would be a great use of leftover sock yarns and also a great way to try socks if you've ever wanted to knit them.  A very busy hat.

Blooming Gorgeous has flowers and a watering can.

The Tea Party - cup cake with a tea party on top. The hat is pretty basic but the rest is fiddly.

Blackberry Pie has beaded berries and leaves adorning a textured stitch hat.

Autumn Harvest has multiple colours of autumn and some leaves and acorns.

Ho Ho Ho is red and white with some white leaves and red berries and a knit ball.

Fin's Penguin has a penguin(with a scarf!) and lots of bobbles.

Frog in a pond - multicoloured hat with a frog on top of leaves.

Hop to it, a rabbit on leaves

Plum in the garden has a cat on the top surrounded by leaves, flowers and flower pots.

Rabbit in a Hat, a rabbit surrounded with flowers.

Daisy mouse is a tube hat with a mouse peeping out of the top.

No knitting instructions but some embroidery instructions.  The book goes from simple to complex and some of them could be adapted to be simpler.  I did start to think about tea cozies half-way through and I'd say several of the patterns would be adaptable to that idea.  Many of them look very complicated and fussy and you'd also have to ensure that all the items were well-sewn on.

I was also glad to see many unisex patterns but I had some issues with the pink for girls assumption.  I know that later many children do have preferences but very young babies only have preferences given them by parents.

I got my copy from Dublin City Public Libraries who offer no inducement other than my wages and relatively easy access to the titles.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Some finished items.

So I actually finished a few items, since my post about starting the hat I have some finished items.

The Hat is done. Has been worn and is very effective against the sun (I do wear sunscreen on my face as well)  The pattern is Azealia from a recent Let's Knit magazine

summer hat

A baby jumper
One of Mac's Workmates has had a baby.  He requested something for a boy.

baby jumper

Rather sweet, easy enough pattern from Ravelry, Telemark Pullover top down so when it was done it was done.


Friday, 5 July 2013

Tunisian Crochet book review


Book Depository; Ravelry Link

This is quite a good book on the topic of Tunisian Crochet with clear photographs about the methods and a lot of projects, it is one that I will seriously consider buying for myself.

It starts out with a basic crochet skills section and then a very clear section on the techniques of Tunisian Crochet with very clear photographs, there possibly should be a few very simple dishcloth patterns in here to gell the techniques but the projects following are quite interesting.

The first project is Chain Mail Scarf   using two strands of yarn held together and tunisian purl stitch throughout.

Wild and Woolly Wrap uses a thick and thin yarn and a bias style to create a wrap, an interesting blend of pattern and yarn

Honeycomb Skirt uses a cotton/viiscose yarn in a multicolour blend to create an interesting skirt.

Shimmer Shawl blends tunisian crochet and other techniques to create an interesting shawl that has open and more closed spaces.

Ivory Shell is a simple sleeveless top with a waist tie and a textured stitch

Ladders and Lattice Duster is an open cardigan with more open sleeves, the sleeves are worked from the top down.  It's an interesting piece

Felted clutch introduces felting to the mix.

Warmhearted vest is what folks this part of the pond would call a tank top, with a simple v-neck this looks knitted

Hug-a-licious Jumper is a girls overdress, gym slip style, sleeveless. Meant for small girls.

Big Sister Sweater is a jumper done in Tunisian Net Stitch, which looks very interesting.

Toben's Pillow is a simple tunisian simple stitch cushion

Sweet Dreams Baby Blanket is an interesting textured blanket

Frosted Stitch Afghan is another interesting use of stitches to create an interesting pattern

Have it both ways pillow is a cushion with two sides which are slightly different

Foam Follows Function Ottoman Cover uses a super bulky yarn used three strands at a time and a 22mm needle!

Mardi Gras Placemats uses different stitch patterns and colourwork to create a variety of mats, from simple to complicated.  Interesting work.

The book finishes up with the Yarn standards sizing and yarn weights guidelines and some resource information.

Overall a good book for people wanting to explore Tunisian Crochet more.  I would be tempted to buy it.

This book was obtained from South Dublin Public Libraries via Borrowbooks into Dublin City Public Libraries where I work.  Dublin City Public Libraries pay my wages but offer me no inducements to write these reviews.