Friday, October 28, 2016

Celtic Cable Crochet: Reviewed


Celtic Cable Crochet is Bonnie Barker's second Celtic Book.  Unbelievably, even more stunning designs.  Disclaimer: this book was given to me by publisher for review.

I love all things Irish especially the cabling worked on so many of these designs.  The designs bring me back to  Ireland in  search of the perfect Aran Sweater.
It truly amazes me how Bonnie has manipulated the front and back post stitch to create these beautiful pieces. 


As I like to do when I review a book, as long as time permits, I make something from the book  to really experience what the buyer will be following and understanding. 

I chose to make the Blue Moon Shawl using Madeline Tosh Light fingering yarn that I bought about 3 years ago just waiting for a design like this.


Please excuse the tails and the fact that I have not blocked it.  I love the way it came out and plan to wear to church now that the weather in FL has cooled.
This book has clear directions, pictures, charts and schematics.  I will say this is a great book for an advanced beginner to take the next step in their crochet commitment.  For the intermediate and advanced, I found the repeat on the Blue Moon Shawl fairly easy.  I must admit you do need to focus even with the repeats, I did frog a couple times, not because of the pattern but because I lost count or didn't pay attention to where  I was in the row.  If you look really, really close, Bonnie will see it, one of my cables is not crossed the way it should. Can I live with it, yes. Many people have seen it and love how the cables pop on the background stitch. Many have asked which stitch it'll  have to get the book to find out.
Bonnie has a great eye for mixing stitches together to bring out the best in the cable.
Visit Bonnie Barker's BONNIEBAY, Ravelry page for more designs and of course Interweave or Amazon to purchase the book.

If you would like to win a copy of Celtic Cable Crochet by Bonnie Barker, and you know you do, follow instructions below.  Good Luck.  

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: Crochet Cowls by Sharon Hernes Silverman

Disclosure: I was given a copy of Crochet Cowls by the publisher, Stackpole an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield for review purposes.  The opinions here are my own.

Sharon has absolutely done it again. This is a stunning book on so many levels.

First the actual physical book is beautiful.  Many may not pay attention or notice these details but, I do.  The feel of the cover, the inside intro pages, the chart shadowed as a header on the pages.

The photographs by Shanken Photography is on target. I love that the photos are clear and close so you can see the stitch and details like beads. Did I mention beads??? the Art Deco Skyline Cowl, above, is a work of art.

As usual I like to make a project or piece of a project from the books I review.  I think this is important to really see what others will read and need when they work from the book. 

I chose to make the Green Fields Capelet.  I happen to have enough Lion Brand- LB Collection Cotton/Bamboo, in green no less, to make the whole capelet.

I think it came out beautiful.  The finished size in the pattern is 39" circumference at bottom, of which I am not.  Of course I did a gauge swatch and was right on target with Sharon's.  I added 50 stitches to get the circumference I felt comfortable with. I am not comfortable with Tunisian in the round yet and was thrilled that this was worked flat and seamed up back. It is marked "Experienced" even with that said it did work up fast. I always learn a new stitch in Sharon's books, and this pattern was no exception.

One thing I absolutely LOVE
about this book every book was the clear pictures of stitch instructions on the same pages as pattern being worked. LOVED THIS, no going to back of book looking up what I needed to know now. The only time I needed this feature was for the loop stitch, after looking at pics, piece of cake. The instructions for the other stitches, of which there were 4, were very clear as written. I chose to keep the loops on my capelet instead of snipping them into fringe as directed. 

The cowl above is one of my favorites, I love the red trim with the black and white chevron stitch in middle.

With the bulky look so popular this fall I included a picture of that cowl too.

I will definitely be making the Green Fields Capelet again, in black.  All my black dresses have prints, I've been looking for something like this design.  Look for me to be wearing it at the Crochet Guild of America conference next year.  I will be going back to this book for gifts too.

Sharon has generously allowed me to have a giveaway for Crochet Cowls.  Please follow the instructions below to enter.  The US winner can choose a print or digital copy, outside the US would win a digital copy.

To learn more about Sharon Hernes Silverman's work and other books visit Sharon's web site here
Crochet Cowls is available on as well as many of her other publications.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Have You Seen Autumn Bliss??

Fall is certainly in the air, even here in Florida, Tuesday the temps were lower and the humidity less.  It's a tease for the next season. 

 September 9th Annies Signature Designs launched their 

Last summer Annies Signature Designs launched a collection of patterns by season.  Last summer was the Summer Love Collection.  These collections are knit and crochet designs. There is sure to be something for everyone.  

This fall is the Autumn Bliss Collection.  
I am thrilled to have a design in this collection, my design is the Navajo Stole.  I used 6 colors of Plymouth Yarns Encore working spiked stitches .  The Navajo Stole was worked horizontally.

This stole is very versatile; it can be wrapped and belted as shown, worn as a wrap, over one shoulder and belted, folded at neck to give a shawl collar look.

Here is a taste of more Autumn Bliss!!

ANNIE'S SIGNATURE DESIGNS: Nituna Shawl Crochet PatternANNIE'S SIGNATURE DESIGNS: Nakai Purse Crochet Pattern

Click here to see the Autumn Bliss Lookbook
I love the Crochet Lookbook, it's like looking through a beautiful catalog. There is a Knit Lookbook also.


Enjoy the season of Pumpkins (ahh Pumpkin spice drinks), apples, scarecrows and changing leaves.

Many thanks to Lena Skvagerson and Kara Gott Warner for their hard work putting this collection together. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hand Picked

My latest crochet book is out and you can be the first to win a copy.  Visit Karen Whooley's blog read her review, share her review and enter to win.
I will write more about this book soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Welcome to the Crochetville National Crochet Month Blog Tour.  I want to thank Amy and Donna for the time, effort and passion that goes into putting this blog tour together, they make it better each year and this is their fourth.

I have chosen my stop to be a book review and giveaway of my friend Brenda Bourg's new book, Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet.  Please use this month to expand your skills and passion for crochet.  You will be inspired by the many designers, yarn companies and local yarn shops you will visit this month.

Whether you're a beginner needing help via book, blog, video or class on how to do a double crochet, or a seasoned crocheter who wants a new technique to learn, it's on this tour this month.


Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet is a stunning collection of traditional Fair Isle designs to be crocheted.  The photos are beautifully taken in the Rockies of Colorado.  There is a variety of designs from mitts and cowls to sweaters and afghans.


When I review a book I like to make something in it or a piece to learn the technique.  That is what I did here.  I have done standard crochet colorwork and Tunisian crochet, but never Tunisian colorwork.

First I read through Brenda's detailed instructions.  I chose to work the chart for the Elisha Afghan.  I used leftover Caron Simply Soft.  I started great by following the chart using a post-it to keep track of my row on chart.

When I started to carry color I needed to refer back to the instructions on floats and locks.  Brenda reminds us "Learning to lock floats may take a few times or even a few projects.  Be patient with yourself.  It's a new technique and it's okay to make mistakes- just Keep Trying!  Eventually, you will get it!"

I can hear Brenda saying this to me.  It's true, my tension and technique improved with each row.  Who me make a  I am not afraid to frog(rip it, rip it) and learn.  In left picture, notice the difference of the carry yarn from bottom to top.

So I have learned a new technique and have the confidence with Brenda's instructions to make the Ivana Mitts for a friend.

The book is 102 pages and you know I love a picture index in the back of books. When you get your copy please take a moment to read about Brenda and about the park used for the photo shoot. Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local retailer.

I have a copy of Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet to give to one lucky winner in the US.  Follow instructions below to enter.   Good Luck

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Get your tickets ready to board the Crochetville Blog Tour

The Crochetville National Crochet Month Blog Tour has began March 1.  I hope everyone has their tickets ready for a trip around the world visiting designers, yarn companies and local yarn shops.  There will be free patterns, book giveaways and much more.... check Crochetville everyday.

Here is your ticket to my stop on Saturday March 5,2016.  I have a book giveaway.

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....