Monday, January 4, 2016

Broomstick Lace Crochet - Book Review and Giveaway

Have you ever tried Broomstick Lace Crochet?? This technique has been on my list for a while now, when I was asked to review this book by Stackpole Books I thought here's my chance.

In Broomstick Lace by Donna Wolfe I found so many designs I wanted to try from head, hands and totes to a beach wrap (my niece would love).

I like to make something from the books I review, I chose the Triangle Kerchief Scarf.  I used scrap yarn and a very large knitting needle I picked up (in thrift shop) years ago for when the day came.  My needle was smaller than what was called for so my scarf is a little smaller too, and that's ok.  
The pictures and directions are very clear to follow.  Donna brings you through all the basic crochet stitches, Broomstick Lace stitches in sc, hdc and dc. She shows an alternate way to work the stitch too.  Did you know you could do Faux Broomstick crochet without a large knitting needle?? I didn't. She includes changing colors, increasing, decreasing and working in the round.  All of these instructions give the adventurous crocheter what they need to crochet one of her designs or even create their own work.  If you don't have a large knitting needle she shows how to use dowels, rulers, tubing and circular knitting needles.

With all that said, here is my work in progress.

Not bad. I am left handed but crochet right handed, so some movements were a little awkward, but I am not afraid to "frog" (rip it rip it) to get the technique right. I also change colors, I used 3 colors from scrap of Berroco Comfort.

I really like the way it came out.  As always this 120 page book has great photography and an easy visual index in back to quickly find the pattern you want to make.  

Stackpole Books will send one winner of my giveaway a copy of Broomstick Lace Crochet by Donna Wolfe, US residents only.  Follow instructions below to enter. Entries must "Like" both Facebook pages.  If you do not win a copy you can purchase one at Amazon.
This book is a great "go to" book for any crochet library.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Did You Get an Etsy Gift Certificate???

I received an Etsy Gift Certificate for my birthday in October from some friends, all right my Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) Chapter, the Mount Dora Froggers.  I had never purchased anything on Etsy before but certainly knew about it. Etsy is an online custom made marketplace, check here  to see.

So I thought what could I possibly treat myself to?? Jewelry?? A yarn bowl?? I have a beautiful one from a friend already.....

I have the complete set of Amour crochet hooks from Clover. Their handles are a little bigger and are made from a non slip material unlike most crochet hooks and not all fit in my current Della Q case.  So I searched for a new one on Etsy.

I found Elsie Geneva Designs.  Shelley has a great inventory of handmade bags, totes and carriers for all things including crochet hooks.  I found one that I liked that was for Amour hooks, so the slips would be big enough and  I got to choose the fabric.  But I have the whole set of the hooks plus other stuff, scissors, gauge checker and yes a caliper to measure hooks when size is in question, not to mention stitch,
I emailed Shelly and asked about adding more slips and maybe a button/elastic closure instead of a snap.  Even though the snap is sturdy I knew I would over stuff it and needed room to grow.

The fabric I chose was French Postcards, she has such an assortment to choose from it was hard.

The customer service was outstanding, she added a couple extra slips and a button closure for me.  I would have to wait 6 weeks while she made it, but the wait was worth it. It arrived a couple days earlier than promised. 

The zipper case for those little extras is perfect, it's attached and folds right into the case to fold over closed.  What a fabulous feature.

Now my Della Q case also holds 16 hooks and is perfect for the smaller hooks like Boye and Susan Bates.  I do like that this case has the tags for sizes attached.   Shelley at Elsie Geneva could have embroidered the sizes on for me for an extra charge, but I wanted to live with it without sizes marked so I had freedom to move things around. 

I would highly recommend Shelley at Elsie Geneva on Etsy for designing your custom hook or needle case.  I absolutely love it.  The gift certificate purchase process was a snap.

Now my grandmother's Boye hooks, I'm a Boye user too, have a case of their own so I won't lose them , I guard them.  I received her collection of hooks when she passed in 1996, which brought me back to crocheting.  Notice the scratches on her 
H and I hooks probably from holding it in her teeth when she had to frog 
(rip it, rip it)

Feel free to ask me any questions about my case.  I would love to know how you store and carry your hooks around. 

Thank you Mount Dora Froggers....

Friday, November 27, 2015

Love a Deal

Berroco Yarn is bringing back their free pattern deal. Click link below for details.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fundraising with Crochet

The Mount Dora Froggers chapter of the Crochet Guild of America has finished its second fundraiser with crochet this past weekend.  We participated in "Celebrate the Season" the annual fundraiser for our local food pantry, Lake Cares.

Because we are a new chapter we quickly crocheted items for sale including washcloths, necklaces (from my book Formal Jewelry), Ruffle scarves Sassy Fabric, faux fur scarves Boutique Fur (both made with Red Heart Boutique Yarns ), thread ornaments, coasters, camis, baby hats and more. 

We tracked our sales this year for inventory purposes since all our profits went to Lake Cares Food Pantry.
We raised $290 just with our crocheted items. We are thrilled with that and can't wait until next year. 

There were many donated new products from local businesses that were sold to raise money, and donated baked goods that sold out by the end on Saturday.

Wednesday night was a beautiful Gala that included a silent auction and live auction.  Of course there was food and adult beverages too.

As a new member of the Mount Dora community it was a great way for me to meet others that support our wonderful area. 

I couldn't resist posting this "sock monkey" wreath. We did not make this but was too cute.  

I mentioned that this was our second fundraising event. Our first was    Bra-Vo, a fundraiser for Breast Cancer, see pics here and here. Our "Lady Ta-Ta" sold in silent auction for $50 and much more was raised through voting for your favorite at $1 per vote. 

Our Mount Dora Froggers are a fun community minded group. Thanks to all who helped with this project.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Crochet Refresher by Sharon H. Silverman

Sharon Silverman is one of my favorite crochet authors, especially instructional crochet, here is why.  Disclosure: I received a copy to review and one to giveaway.

Crochet Refresher really impressed me in many ways.  First I always try to make something from the books I review. I chose Washcloth and Baby Hat in this book.  I forced myself to read the directions as if I hadn't crocheted in a long time because the instructions are that detailed.
If you have been away for awhile from crochet some things may have changed like abbreviations and new and improved techniques.

Each project teaches a technique, as well as,
clearly taking you through the stitches with written, picture and thanks to Leisure Arts video help too.

The Washcloth pattern
takes you through the woven stitch, edging and your choice to change colors, all well explained. I chose a self striping cotton from 
Lily-Sugar and Cream

Next I made both sizes of the Baby Hat. How adorable these are, I used Red Heart Yarns Baby Soft from my stash. 

Sharon takes you through carrying color up side while changing the color, making pom poms, illustrates the whipstitch for seaming.  I chose to make both sizes, the infant and toddler. One was with two colors and the other a solid (what I had in stash).  I did use my Clover Pom Pom maker which I love, but the instructions take you through making a pom pom without one.

There are clear instructions for the beginning stitches and basic stitches, all described for left and right handed crocheters.

I do believe this book is the perfect gift for the new crocheter and the one who needs refreshing.  Perhaps a new grandmother who has not crocheted since her children were born or the soon to be mom who hasn't picked up a hook since grandma taught her how to crochet at 9 years old.

I also think this book would be a great tool for instructors to use or include a copy for the students to continue to learn with confidence after their lessons with instructor are over. 

I am giving one lucky person in the US a copy of Crochet Refresher, see Rafflecopter instructions below.

All nine patterns in Crochet Refresher are for babies. Above are three of six blanket patterns that will continue to refresh and expand your crochet techniques.  Some of the techniques are surface crochet, ripple, join-as-you-go, working a blanket in the round.

Go to Leisure ArtsAmazon to purchase your copy of Crochet Refresher.

Stop by and visit Sharon's Web site Sharon Silverman Crochet to see her patterns and other books available. 

Thanks for stopping by I Hook Design

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Voting is open for Lady Ta Ta

The voting is open on The Crochet Guild of America Chapter that I belong to "The Mount Dora Froggers" entered an artistic crochet piece to raise money for those in need of breast cancer health care in Lake County FL.

Out entry is A8  "Lady Ta Ta".VOTE HERE

Each vote is $1, the entries will be for sale and/or auctioned off at the end of October. These pieces are on display the month of October at Mount Dora Arts Center, next to Artisans on Fifth.  100% of proceeds go to the cause.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Yarn Happy - Book Review and Giveaway

You never know where inspiration will come from. Author and designer Turid Lindeland found that out when an old sock pattern, dated 1887, was discovered in the wall of the Rosendal Turisthotell in Norway, that she and her husband purchased, became the inspiration of Yarn Happy. Yarn Happy is published by Sellers Publishing and available here at Amazon or your local yarn store.

The designs are classic Scandinavian, the colors were inspired by the amazing glaciers shades of ice and the vibrant summer landscapes of the area
There are 30 traditional Norwegian designs of knit and crochet.  I have to say there are only three crochet patterns, but they are lovely and well written.

 If you are bi-stitchual or a knitter this book has wonderful designs for body and home.  Included are comfy socks for those chilly days and nights.

Cozy sweaters for cool nights.  The patterns include detailed charts.

 I personally love the designs for the home that are throughout the hotel, such as pillows, chair covers, seat cushions, storage bags and more.


The photography is stunning and you can see Turid's inspiration everywhere in the photos.

Something else that I appreciated in this book is the Resource Guide in the back.  The yarn used in the book is listed by distributor and includes their color charts.  But the resource guide is practical in that it gives you options to substitute with online and in store choices.

This would be a great addition to your personal library and I encourage Yarn Stores to add it to their inventory.

Disclosure:  I did receive a copy of Yarn Happy for review.  I will be giving one copy to a winner from the US as well.  See below for details.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Bra-Vo

As many of you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
A few of the women in my Crochet Guild of America chapter have fought this battle and won. Here in Mount Dora FL there is a fundraiser every October sponsored by Bra-vo. Sponsors purchase a bust form to decorate or add a bra to and decorate the bra.  All proceeds help men and women in need get mammograms. 

The money is raised by voting for your favorite design.   The designs will be on display at Artisans on Fifth Mount Dora for the month of October.  Voting can be in person or online HERE, every dollar counts as one vote.

This is what we designed, of course all crochet.

Step 1: The Ta Ta's.  I found a great organization called Knitted Knockers that gets knitted or crocheted prosthetic breasts to the people who need them. Check out their site if you have a need, know someone who does or would like to make them for the organization.  They supply the patterns for knit and crochet. Check them out at

Step 2:  we decided to dress her a little.  We used a simple mesh camisole and left it a little short.

Step 3: added crocheted beaded chains and looped them through the loops of previous row.

Step 4: added crocheted beaded chain straps and neckline.

Step 5: attached the ta ta's to the painted mannequin bust.

We named her Lady Ta Ta.
There is a reception at the gallery on October 9th, I encourage anyone in the area to come and check out all the designs.  
Thanks to all that come see her and vote in person or online.
I will post pics of all designs once show opens.