Fair Isle- A Great Addition to Tunisian Crochet

ScannedImageIt is not often that I find something that can inspire and challenge me, but the latest book by Brenda Bourg has accomplished this. Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet gives explanation even a beginner can follow while giving create insight for even seasoned crocheters.

512xxyhIDWL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_This technique and project book takes Tunisian crochet into the direction of a classic knitting style. It addresses the history, as well as color theory to ensure a successful project, while empowering you to make each project your own. There is an entire section that helps you understand and utilize the benefits of the color wheel and demystifies how to get a good combination of colors to find a that balance of compliment and contrast that allows fair isle to highlight your hand work will being pleasant to the eye.

One of the features I really appreciated was that the author speaks to you in practice terms. She addresses problems that you may, or will, encounter. You begin a project already understanding challenges that you may face, it is like a good friend is walking you through the skill and giving you all of the tips  and tricks they found on the journey to make you trip even easier. When you realize that your tension may be off, she has already addressed this and you know to keep an eye open to a certain things, and how often to check your work. It gave the book a very practical and friendly feel. I never felt that the skill was only addressing some crocheting elite, I felt that I could share with book with a beginner crocheter and have them feel comfortable practicing the skills.


Beginning my project from Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet. The charts make it so easy to follow along with.

The author even addresses how your fabric will actually feel when completed, and how to properly block and finish the pieces, explaining why it is important and the applications that may be necessary. It speaks to you on an everyday level and does not just explain how to work the technique but how to make it successful. The projects vary in difficulty to help you build your skills, and it even gives you a sampling of how variegated yarns can add a beautiful touch to this skill. The variety of the projects have a little something for everyone, accessories, home decor, and garments all offer a gradient skill level and the author offers her perspective on what you can expect to gain from each.

If you are interested in trying something new, maybe even take a new approach to color, this is s book you will appreciate. You can purchase it by following this link, and fortunately I am able to share a copy with one reader. All you have to do to check this book out for yourself, is leave a comment about which colors you like to put together in projects by the end of the day, Monday, March 7, 2016. One comment will be selected at random and will a copy of the book (unfortunately this is only available to those in the United States, sorry but it is the shipping restrictions from the publisher).

Crochet & Time?

ScannedImageThis time of year lends people to think of possible handmade/homemade gifts, and can lend crafts to unrealistic timelines.

I have been there many times, thinking I will make everyone on my gift list their own (blank); afghan, scarf, hat, mittens, pillows, etc. you can probably insert just about any item in the blank…and please note I stated “thinking”. Over many years I have had these thoughts, but only on a few occasions have I even came close to meeting my target.

One of the problems with attempting to complete any stitch work this time of year is all the distractions. It seems like the month of November just evaporates with the coming of cooler weather at my home (and the hope of rain), while as soon as Thanksgiving Day, and meals with family have commenced I blink and it is Valentine’s Day. This seems to happen every year, I never know where December goes.IMG_6186.1

I do recognize that both of my kids celebrate their birthdays, as well as my own, not to mention 4 other extended family members in the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This can add an extra level of craziness with parties and get-togethers in addition to holiday traditions and events. No wonder I can only get a couple stitches in at a time.

I will admit that at more informal gatherings, I have been crocheting while visiting with friends, finishing up projects or at least making some head way on them. I have a portable project with me at all times, even when I have two minutes waiting for the kids to get out of school I am working a couple of more stitches, maybe I can finish that next row.

So with multiple stitches on the hook, and many distractions, I am really no longer sure where my time is evaporating to, but hopefully I will make it to the New Year!

Another Crochet Journey, New Projects, New Inspirations

ScannedImageOne of the things that I really enjoy about crochet is that it has so many possibilities. When I began crocheting I created scarves and Barbie dresses, then I worked afghans….many, many afghans. I really didn’t even begin to make hats for several years as I was a little intimidated with working in the round and the working it straight, I was fine with the flat circle, but the contours of a hat use to intimidate me. I think I may have made my first sweater before my first hat, not much before, but before. When I realized that I was just creating fabric garments became my new go to, (and I include shawls in my garment category, as it took me a long time to place a shawl in my personal wardrobe).


BBD (Baby Brown Dog)

Looking back on my time stitching I can see certain trends, however I never really got into the trend of doilies or toy making. However, I find myself taking inspiration from the work of classic thread doilies and applying it to some of my current designs and at the prompting for some of my crochet students I have been investigating some Amigurumi.

In playing with the techniques used to create toys, I have made up a little puppy. BBD (Baby Brown Dog as it is affectionately referred to in my home), is created with 2 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK yarn, so it is really quite soft and cuddly. This stitches used are simply single crochet, with the only challenge being the Magic Loop beginning (that can be substituted if desired with alternative circle beginnings). Simple increases and decrease are worked for the overall shaping. The paws have a little special touch of having nickels added to give a little weight to the legs so that they always want to hang downward (so it can be recognized as a 20¢ puppy).

I may not be someone that creates things like this often, but I will admit, this little dog has gotten to me, and even I enjoy cuddling with it. Sometimes working on things outside your everyday comfort zone can inspire new ideas, BBD already has me things…I wonder where this journey might take me.

If you would like to take a journey with BBD you can find it on Ravelry and Craftsy for only $5.50 US.