Book Review: 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Monday 25 May 2015 at 12:58 pm

50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit: The Ultimate Easy-to-Knit Collection Featuring Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted is a collection of projects assembled by the editors of Sixth and Spring that showcase the yarns from the Universal Yarn company. This book sells in the US for $19.95 and in Canada for $22.95, and it is 144 pages in length.

Each of the fifty projects in this book has two to three color photographs, including one of the entire finished project plus one or two close-up or sectional type photographs to enable you to see the stitches more closely or to see specific details of a project. The skill level of each project is indicated by a key with either 1, 2, 3, or 4 rectangular shapes filled out indicating beginner, easy, intermediate, and experienced. I did not see any for beginners. Most are either easy or intermediate level projects.

The variety of projects seems to include just about everything from baby sweaters to accessories to home decor items. With fifty projects and the price point being around $20, that works out pretty well on a per project cost basis, and I think most items would appeal to the intermediate to advanced knitter. The back of the book includes brief instructions on knitting basics, but this is really a project-based book designed for someone who has taken a step beyond knitting basics. In other words, I would not recommend someone try to learn to know with this book and no other resources.

I was surprised to see color work and even a doll project in here. Garter stitch seems so limiting, but clearly that does not have to be the case. One item to keep in mind is that since these are geared toward garter stitch, most of the finished projects are on the thicker side, heavy shawls and hats. I saw plenty of projects here that would be good for gift giving but also for making and keeping.

(I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.)

Book Review: The Art of Weaving

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Sunday 24 May 2015 at 3:28 pm

The Art of Weaving was originally authored by Else Regensteiner in 1970, and since then it has been revised a number of times. Most recently, this book is in its fourth revision. It is published by Schiffer Publishing and retails in the US for $34.99.

At a little over 200 pages, this is a very large reference book, obviously designed for the serious weaver or someone who wants to intently study the craft. It takes a comprehensive approach, first starting with weaving equipment, then yarns, then important technique information such as warp and weaving patterns.

As weaving has started to become more popular in recent years, it is nice to see this book is updated and available again. I found it to be very thorough and easy to find information. It is packed full of photographs and diagrams. There is a 12 page color insert in the first part of the book, and admittedly, it would have been nice to see more of this (color photographs) throughout the book.  The lack of color and general format gives the text an overall dated look. However, the subject matter is really timeless, and it nice to see that this information is being preserved and passed on.

(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)

WWW Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 23 May 2015 at 3:49 pm

Art Bead Scene

Check out Claire’s art bead picks to get your juices flowing for our May challenge!

Glass Garden Mushrooms

Cherie brings up an oldie but popular post on her blog about glass garden mushrooms.

Connie Gee’s Designs

Connie shares a recent finish along with information about where you can find the pattern and what she used to complete it.

Surviving Disney & Comforting Crochet

Crafty Princess talks a little about the Disney cruise she went on recently and the comfy crochet baby afghan she is working on.

Blocky Layout Makeover: Scrapbooking Outside the Box

Eileen took a layout from blocky to eye-catching with a makeover of a scrapbook page commemorating those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

Beading Arts

When you come up with a good design, it’s nice to be able to modify it for use in other pieces!

Disney Cruise Surviving & Comforting Crochet - Podcast Episode 21

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast by Tammy on Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 5:34 pm

I have some finished knitting and crochet, and I show off a comforting baby crochet ripple afghan I’m almost finished making. Come and craft with me….oh…and I give a little info about the Disney cruise I took recently.

Yarn Love by Mail

Blogged under Crafty Products, Fiber Fun by Tammy on Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 1:03 pm

I fell off my yarn diet wagon just a little with the recent Expression Fiber Art free skein sale. The skein on the far right is 100% silk shimer fingering in the French Macron colorway (and yes it feels like butter); in the middle is her “resilient” super wash merino sock yarn in the Kismet colorway; and then my free skein is “refined” 50/50 merino/silk fingering in the Row of Tulips colorway.

Now to spend countless hours deciding what to make with them!

Disney Cruise Day 2 & 3 Video Review (Part 2 of 2)

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast, Crafty Products by Tammy on Tuesday 19 May 2015 at 4:34 pm

Here is the second part of the review I promised. Like part 1, I cover the pros and cons of my 3 day Disney cruise from Cape Canaveral, Florida to the Bahamas and Castaway Cay.

Disney Cruise Day 1-2 Video Review

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast, Crafty Videos by Tammy on Monday 18 May 2015 at 5:23 pm

This is the first of two videos where I review my cruise on the Disney Dream. My sister and I are on our veranda overlooking Nassau, Bahamas as we talk a little about our cruise crafting and the pros and cons of the trip so far.

Craft Links!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 17 May 2015 at 11:40 am

Decoupage Glass Vase Organizers Have Many Uses

Eileen created hers to organize paint brushes and foam pouncers. But decoupage glass vase organizers can be put to many uses. Use the cubes as candy dishes or to hold pens and pencils.

Art Bead Scene

Check out Mary’s round up of books covering the history of beads - fascinating stuff!!

Craft Lights and WIPs

Connie tells about her latest WIPs along with a new wrinkle that her craft lamp has thrown into her stitching plans.

Beading Arts

Cyndi looks at how to showcase a beautiful artist-made glass bead without overwhelming it!

Bead Board Video

This brief video shows how to use a bead board to design beaded jewelry.

Book Review: Vogue Knitting Stitchionary

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Wednesday 13 May 2015 at 11:35 am

Vogue® Knitting Stitchionary® Volume One: Knit & Purl: The Ultimate Stitch Dictionary from the Editors of Vogue® Knitting Magazine (Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Series) is the first volume in a series of knitting stitch books. It is published by Sixth and Spring Books. In the US, it retails for $19.95 and in Canada for $23.95.

As with most Vogue publications, this book is very visually appealing. They purposely used the same type of yarn throughout to make sure stitch definition and gauge was consistent, but even though it is all the same yarn in this book, different shades of green are used for each of the sections. The photographs of the swatches are clear, and generally speaking, the information is easy to find. To test it out, I looked up a few stitches I was interested in learning a little more about, and I had no trouble finding them.

The organization of the book starts from simple to more advanced, thus building on the level of difficulty. All the stitch patterns provided focus on using knit and purl in various combinations.

A stitch dictionary is really important for anyone serious about yarn crafting for a number of reasons. For those with little experience, it can be a helpful resource guide. For intermediate level knitters, this is a good refresher book, and of course, for advanced knitters who may want to attempt pattern writing and designing, a book like this is a must.

Keep in mind that this is a techniques driven book, so you will not find projects in here. However, you could adapt patterns using the stitches in this book. Another option is to make the swatches for practice and then stitch them all together for a beautiful afghan. If you have been thinking of adding a knitting stitch dictionary to your personal craft book library, this first volume is a good place to start.

(A review copy of this text was provided by the publisher.)

Video: Using a Bead Board for Jewelry Making

Blogged under Crafty Videos, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 9 May 2015 at 10:44 am

I am heading back to some jewelry making basics, starting with this brief “how-to” video on using a bead board to help you design beaded jewelry.

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