Inspiring Book & Give Away! Quick Crochet for the Home

I do not often do reviews. This has been a personal issue for me, as I don’t want to feel like I am just “hocking” items and adding an endorsement to everything in the hopes of gaining more followers or the like. I want to actually mean what I say and have those that read my work realize that I am taking caution in sharing my views. I know I could share negative thoughts in a review, but really I would prefer if I couldn’t say something nice, that I not say anything at all. So I am selective.

When I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing the first book written by Tamara Kelly, aka Mooglyblog.com, I was flattered, but a bit apprehensive. I consider Tamara a friend, so it doubly feels like I cannot say anything negative, especially about her first book. Fortunately, after reading through it I can easily stay to my “moral high ground” of endorsements, as the book is really very nice and well done.

The book, Quick Crochet for Home, honestly would not have been the first book I would have considered for my bookshelf. This is because I have done so many home décor projects over the years that I thought I couldn’t find any that would inspire me anymore, I was wrong. Tamara applies some techniques in ways that I had not considered before and helped me to look at home décor with fresh eyes.

When checking out the Around the Table Trivet I was surprised that there was no cording listed in the materials, as looking at the photo images it appeared that the rounds were well padded, then I noticed that there was not spiral effect of the rounds. The genius of the pattern has one round worked over the adjacent round! So there is not obvious join, and it creates its own padding…genius! It is one of those, why didn’t I think of that moments.

Then her Chevron Cuddles Blanket takes the challenge of the increase and decrease stitches out of the famous crochet design of zig zags, and worked the design side to side carrying different colors instead of working each color as a separate row. This has some definite benefits, such as being easier of newer crocheters, and allowing you to really envision how the colors come together well before you have finished the project. You only have to know how to double crochet, and change colors…it is that simple, yet looks much more challenging.

I also found that the book was well presented, layout well, offered well written patterns and charts. Another bonus, it has photography that actually helped you understand the project, not just look really pretty.

I found inspiration in several of the other designs as well, but I am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed going through this book. There is a little something for everyone, there are patterns that you will easily work over and over again, as well as others that might only wait for the perfect moment. Tamara shares several different original ideas in her approach to her designs, and I am sure that you will find something that you will create.

As an added bonus, I have the opportunity to GIVE AWAY a FREE copy of Quick Crochet for the Home by Tamara Kelly, to one lucky reader! Simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite item is to crochet…whether it be home décor or something else, by midnight Friday, September 1, 2017. The following day one comment will be selected at random to choose the winner.

 

One Skein, One Loop

I love the challenge of creating a single skein project, sometimes it lends itself to a fantastic idea, and sometimes it is just a practice of futility. However, I think this latest design is the former.

Scarf in a Loop is a simple attempt at Bruges Lace. Bruges Lace is a classic technique that essentially crochets a ribbon of narrow crochet stitches with chain loops on its edges. These chain loops allow the ribbon to be bent and twisted, while joining these loops together. So basically if you can draw the line of a ribbon you can create the design in crochet. This scarf pattern is drawn as a ribbon in a simple oval.

Scarf in a Loop, Crochet World October 2017 Photo courtesy Annie’s

The one drawback to Bruges Lace patterns is the number of rows involved. Often a pattern can seem intimidating when it lists hundreds, if not thousands of rows. So keep in mind that these rows are often only a couple of stitches wide.

One of the things I really enjoy with Scarf in a Loop is the way the color moves. The yarn, Lion Brand Unique, has some nice color changes and this design really highlights this. It is a bulky size yarn so it works up fairly fast, and has a nice weight.

Crochet World, October 2017, decided to feature this design and I think it is great as a gift for the upcoming holiday season, or simply for a quick accessory to keep warm during this ever cooling season.

Parisian Champagne Throw-A Nice Little Piece

It is always a fun morning when I learn  that I have a new design out and published that I can share with the world. Today the Parisian Champagne Throw is available in the August 2017 issue of I Like Crochet Magazine is out and alive in the world.

This throw actually started out in a smaller format. The motifs that I have designed, I originally considered for a thread table cloth. I have fun working up the little round motifs and thought they fit together a bit like clockwork. However after creating a square contaminating 4 of them I felt that they would be a really busy looking pattern for a table cloth. Thus they became a 4 square motif in themselves, and then joined with others. As is usual I have worked these motifs as “join as you go”, so there is no sewing or seaming needed.

My decision to alter the original design from a thread table cloth, really was one of complete practicality. This design really works best with two colors and weaving in all the ends necessary for a table cloth…in thread…was a bit too daunting for me to consider.

The design is worked up in a heavier weight yarn then you might usually consider, but this helps give it a practical picnic use for these warm months, while still giving a practical warmth factor for cooler months. It is pretty easy to find two colors that you enjoy together, and this throw works great with any of them. Personally I really like how the soft cream really allows the coral to pop, giving a comfortable and subtle contrast.

This throw can also be taken down a bit, attempt it in a baby yarn and create a memorable baby blanket, without having to worry about meeting the gauge, as the smaller yarn and hook will automatically adjust the motifs to a correct size.

I hope that you give this throw a try, and share your progress with me. I still haven’t got a table cloth, but maybe the next design.

Batiste- Some Nice Texture and Color

What some may not realize about my yarn reviews…they are really just for me. Yes, I am a bit selfish. However I have found that by reviewing a yarn weekly, it helps me hone my skills. Don’t get me wrong I hope you, the reader, gets some insight too, but I helps me focus on a fiber that I have in my working stash and imagine its possibilities. So you will see me discuss the fiber content, as this can really effect the drape and performance of the yarn, I also will remind myself of how it feels and if it works up well. I note the weight and length of the skein so that I can keep a mental note of how many skeins it would take to work up a desired project.

www.lindadeancrochet.comI recently travels to a yarn trade show. There are many various companies and different yarns to touch hold and get inspired by. Honestly, it can be a bit overwhelming, but it has provided me with some new yarns to critique and make notes about, such as Batiste from Knit One Crochet Too.

I cannot say that I have ever worked with yarn from this company before, I have seen it and heard the name, but never had the pleasure of crossing paths with a skein before. Batiste is made up of 50% fine merino wool 30% linen and 20% silk. The soft nature of the merino really shines through, while the linen offers a bit of a heather appearance in the color. The linen also offers the yarn a bit more structure and can allow the fabric to appear wrinkled or creased if put under pressure.

Even with the heathering it still has nice stitch definition, showing texture a bit more subtly than some yarns, but still very nice. It is listed as a Fine weight yarn, but I felt really comfortable using a 5.00mm hook (size H/8) so it didn’t feel at all too fine.

I can easily see this worked up as a garment or accessory close to the skin. The hank has a decent size with 208 yards/190 meters at 50 gram/1.75oz, so a small light shawl might take only 2 hanks, but I would prefer to use at least 3 to get a nice size.

Overall, a nice yarn that spurs some ideas. If you want to check out more of my yarn thoughts select the “Yarn Play” under the website categories.

 

Reinvent Too- A Yarn to Make You Think

Sometimes you can stumble across a yarn that can just make you think a bit. It might have an interesting color, a different construction, an unusual ply or twist, or in the case of Ancient Arts Yarns Reinvent Too for me it was the fibers that it is comprised of.

Not that the fibers used are all that unusual, it is more that I do not know if I have seen them put together in this way before. It is comprised of 49% Wool, 34% Mohair, 11% Nylon, 4% Acrylic, 2% Silk, so at a glance I can tell that it is going to have some warmth, some strength, some softness, and some durability. I cannot recall seeing wool combined with mohair, and having an addition of silk. These are all natural fibers with varying qualities to provide nice yarns all on their own, so often I see them highlighted in a skein where they alone are the shining star and there might be some other small contributors of support.

I guess the part that threw me the most was the large amounts of wool and mohair. Wool I have seen everywhere, but mohair I usually see in yarns that allow its fine quality and natural halo be the defining quality of the yarn. This is not the case in Reinvent Too. The mohair is a work horse of sorts adding its softness and warmth to this blend.

This yarn offers a very nice stitch definition, and even though it is listed as a worsted weight, I feel it is on the lighter side of this definition and would personally treat it more as a light weight or DK. It is not quite as soft as I would have expected, but still pretty nice. It may soften up after a hand washing, I have not tested this theory however. I think that it would work up nicely as a shawl, or a cardigan or jacket. I don’t know how well I would enjoy it as a scarf as it seems a bit rough to the skin on my neck, but a hat would probably be fine. I could also easily see this creating a small throw, it would easily work up great for spring and fall temperatures.

The color selection for this yarn is beautiful, as is normal for Ancient Arts, so you could definitely find a color to inspire you. The hanks have 198 yds/180m per 3.5oz/100g skein, that may limit it to small yarn projects, but I think you may be pleasantly surprised with it.