Book Review: Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Good Books by Tammy on Monday 16 January 2017 at 1:23 pm


Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters: 200 Stitch Patterns in Words and Symbols includes 200 stitch patters in words and symbols. This is a softback book of 170+ pages published by Quarto, which released it in May 2016. In the US, it retails for $24.99; Canada $29.99; and UK L16.99.

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for stitch dictionaries, and this book did not change that at all. I love to be able to cruise through a stitching book like this and pick out stitch patterns to try, especially when I want to make a simple, no-brainer afghan. The way these stitches are organized works well with coming up with blanket patterns. Section One of the book divides the stitches into the following: Simple Sold Patterns; Shell and Fan Stitch Patterns; Openwork and Lace Patterns; Textured Patterns, Colorwork Patterns; and Edgings.

Each stitch pattern is show first with a color swatch. Under that is the pattern shown in a chart with crochet symbols. Then this is followed by the instructions in text. Between the three, I find this very easy to use. When learning a new stitch, I like to go back and forth from a chart to text. I have seen more and more books including both charts and text, so this is not anything necessarily new to crochet books. Still, it’s nice to see and would make a difference for me in whether I used a book or not. Even if you aren’t the type to design your own patterns, this book is useful for using when you’re trying to figure out a pattern and need extra help.

You don’t need to be an expert crocheter to to find Leapman’s book useful. However, anyone who crochets on a regular basis should have a stitch dictionary in his/her craft book library, and this is one I recommend.

Book Review: Crochetterie

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Good Books by Tammy on Monday 16 January 2017 at 1:03 pm

Crochetterie: Cool Contemporary Crochet for the Creatively-minded is written by Molla Mills and published by Quarto. It’s a hardcover book that retails in the US for $29.99; Canada $38.99; and UK L20.00. Thirty projects are included in the book. There are crochet patterns along with lots of extra how-to information and wonderful photography.

Mills is a Finnish designer and has a very unique approach in this book, and in the introduction she explains that one goal of hers was to create projects that would appeal to men. This means not just making projects men might want to use but also want to make, and she points out that in her country it is a common hobby pursued by boys.

The projects are broken up into categories: home, clothes, travels, and equipment. There are basic instructions in the back, in chapter 5, that provide clear photographs for mastering stitches.

One small brain teaser for using these instructions and the patterns is that both American and English versions of stitches are presented, which is good and bad. It’s good, obviously, because no matter which you’ve learned, you can still complete the instructions without having to make any of your own alterations to the patterns. Of course, the bad is that you have to pay attention and remember that differences, such as a US single crochet is a UK double crochet stitch. US terms are included after the English term in parenthesis. For example, a pattern will say something like this: “crochet 10 dc (sc).” If you use English terms, then you ignore the information in parenthesis. If you use American terms, then you need to remember to use the parenthetical information and not the other.

One big plus for this book is that the projects are so different than any I have seen in a book for a long time. And, yes, they tend to be a little more masculine, no doilies for sure! There’s even a how-to in the back of the book for carving your own crochet hook out of wood. As far as crochet projects go, the “Yarn Chain” is a chunky crocheted chain that looks like a thick metal chain, only made with yarn. A similar idea is used in making a “Utility Strap,” which is shown connected to a skateboard. There’s a “Bow Tie” project and various rug projects. The author also has some projects that use other materials like using old t-shirts cut and sewn together (no crochet needed) to make a hip looking scarf.

So, my final thoughts are this is for the adventurous crocheter who wants modern and unique unisex accessories and decor items. Be prepared to learn new skills and work with other materials besides yarn such as leather and canvas. Put your need for immediate gratification on hold, but the finished projects look well worth it.

Have a Merry Dolly Christmas!

Blogged under dolls art/collecting by Tammy on Saturday 24 December 2016 at 12:57 pm

Book Review: Cross-Stitch with Attitude

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Friday 23 December 2016 at 2:20 pm

 
When I used to be heavily involved in cross stitching, one issue was finding interesting patterns that weren’t overly cute all of the time. Not that there is anything wrong with “cute” cross stitch, but it can get old. Plus, if you want to make gifts for people, than having a broader selection is helpful. I Got 99 Problems but a Stitch Aint One: Cross stitch with attitude to liven up your home by Genevieve Brading adds new dimensions to cross stitch projects with her off the wall says incorporated into patterns. The book is hardcover and came out in September of 2016. It retails in the US for $12.99; UK $11L; and Canada $14.99 and includes twenty projects.

All of the projects are pretty simple, so this would be a good beginner’s book or for someone who wants relatively fast projects. If you are uncomfortable with “colorful” language, then this would not be for you; however, if you want some spice added to your cross stitch crafting, then this is a book to consider.

Along with the projects, the front matter of the book has some basic how-to for beginners, about 15 pages worth. While this information is not super in-depth, it looks like enough to get you started. I especially like the photographs that illustrate when to get started by locating the center of the pattern and working out from there.

Yarn and Dollies Video

Blogged under Crafty Videos,crochet and knitting,dolls art/collecting by Tammy on Friday 23 December 2016 at 12:35 pm

Since I have some yarn finished objects (including some crochet and knitting) as well as some Blythe doll crafting and other related updates, I put them together in this video.


Doll Groups on Facebook

Blogged under dolls art/collecting by Tammy on Sunday 11 December 2016 at 11:22 am

Blythe Doll & Barbie Clothes Haul

Blogged under dolls art/collecting by Tammy on Friday 25 November 2016 at 11:59 am

Wine & Dolly: Dolly Novel Done; New Blythe; Doll Clothes; Crochet; Etc.

Blogged under Crafty Videos,dolls art/collecting by Tammy on Friday 25 November 2016 at 11:58 am

Crafty Princess on Sabbatical?

Blogged under writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Sunday 18 September 2016 at 9:39 am

Hi Blog Readers! I though I’d pop over here as I try to get through today’s very long “to do” list and check in and tell you that all is good with me, and I apologize for not coming by and blogging like I usually do. I haven’t even had time to do any videos for my Youtube channel lately either. My only excuse is that I’ve been very, very busy with work, writing, and life. It has been busy in a good sense, but that still means it limits my time.

As far as work goes, my real job is teaching college English, mostly writing classes, and that started up late last month and continues to increase as far as my workload. Of course, I love my job, but it can be “all consuming” sometimes and , obviously, has to be a priority. Anyone who knows a smidgen of what a teacher does knows that it is not a nine to five job, so often we teachers work nights and weekends.

For the writing, I am coordinating a number of projects right now. I’m working a few hours a week writing blog posts (about one or two a week) as well as managing the Facebook page for beadshop.com. I’m very excited about joining up with Janice Parsons and beadshop since I have known her from my very early days online when I worked for About dot com. In addition to this little writing gig, I’ve been focused on a personal writing project that I have mentioned briefly in some of my Blythe doll and other doll collecting videos. It is another novel and the protagonist is involved in the dolly world. I’ve made a lot of progress on it over the past few months, so I am starting to see the end in sight. Once it’s done, I will go back for a massive rewrite, but I’m just trying to get that first draft out, and this is a book-length fictional piece, so yup, that means lots of words.

Life is good otherwise. My husband is supportive of all my craziness. I guess after almost thirty years you could say we are each others’ BFFs still. And the pets are happy and healthy and demanding and spoiled.

I’m not sure when I will get caught up on blogging here and other activities that are normally part of my life, but I will try  to squeeze out a post now and then. I hope I don’t lose anyone along the way. I’m still a little addicted to Facebook, so if you don’t follow me and want to, you’ll find me over there.

Buying Blythe (Fakes) Aliexpress Safe?

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Monday 22 August 2016 at 8:25 am


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