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....

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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