Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crochet Bouquet

Here's another excellent book of patterns! Crochet Bouquet by Suzann Thompson. These flower patterns are amazing! They look soft and, in many cases, very nearly real. Someone went to a lot of time and effort to make these patterns the best they can be. Give yourself a little leeway timewise, because you'll have to borrow this one through Evergreen Indiana, but it's worth the wait.

Happy crafting,

Crochet Motifs

I borrowed 201 Crochet Motif, Blocks, Projects and Ideas by Melody Griffiths through Evergreen Indiana.

This book has some wonderful patterns for crocheted motifs in squares, circles, flower designs, triangles, diamonds, hexagons and octagons. Want to try something different? This may be the book.

Happy crafting,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beginning knitting

'Tis the season to do warm things by the fireplace or curled up with the cat/dog. If learning to knit was one of your New Year's resolutions, we can help you get started.

Knitting for the First Time by Vanessa-Ann. This one is laid out in question form. "How do I cast on?" "How do I do garter stitch?" Each question has a visual answer and a project for practice.

Kids Can Knit: Fun and Easy Projects for Your Small Knitter by Carolyn Clewer. This one has fun(ny) projects like knitting a fried egg and, later in the book, practicing various knit patterns by making sausages. Just another form of sampler, but one kids will love.

Teach Yourself Visually: Knitting by Sharon Turner (There's one of these for crocheting, too.)

Knitting for Dummies by Pam Allen

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting Illustrated by Barbara Breiter

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are multitudes of choices if you request other titles through Evergreen Indiana.

We have an excellent knitting group that meets on the second and fourth Thursdays every month at 6:30. If hands-on learning is your thing, drop in with some yarn (not too fancy to start with) and size 7 or 8 knitting needles. They'll help you get going on whatever project you have in mind.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Stash-Buster

The size 50 needle that is generally used for broomstick lace - you know - the one the size of a small horse's leg? If you have two of them, you can knit an afghan using four strands of yarn at a time! When used for knitting, they're called speed sticks. No kidding!!!

I saw a picture of a loaded needle. You can't fit more than 33-34 stitches on the needle at one time, and it seems like each stitch is about one inch. Your afghan will only be about a yard wide, but it will be quite warm. The pattern used a stockinette stitch, but I don't think it would matter if you have another favorite knitting pattern.

I did see one variation on the pattern in which someone had made two panels and sewed them together. So if you organize your colors, or if you don't mind the two sides being different, this looks like a quick way to prepare for the rest of this cold and snowy winter.

Happy crafting,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Little Yarn Philosophy

I borrowed these from the book Things I Learned from Knitting...Whether I Wanted To or Not by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee:

Beginning is easy, continuing is hard.
Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else.
Practice makes perfect. (Although as a teacher, I've discovered that practice makes permanent.)
You can fix almost anything.
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.

There's much more to this book, and it's worth reading. I thought that some of these sayings especially apply to these dreary days of January when pulling out our latest yarn project is (usually) such a comfort. Be gentle with yourself and your yarn, and the weather won't matter so much.

Happy crafting.


Sunday, January 9, 2011


S.A.B.L.E. stands, I have been told, for "Stash above and beyond life expectancy". Anyone here fall into that category - other than me, of course?

Here are some books you can pick up at the library to bust that stash:
101 Designer One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant
One Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn Shop Favorites by Judith Durant
One Skein Knitting: 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet by Leigh Radford
101 Easy Scrap Projects by Laura Scott
Big Book of Scrap Projects by Vicki Blizzard
Year-Round Scraps Aplenty by Annie's Attic
Special Little Knits from Just One Skein by Cheryl Potter
Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant
1 2 3 Skein Crochet by Judy Crow
One Ball Knits: 20 Stylish Designs Made with a Single Ball, Skein, Hank, or Spool by Fatema Habibur-Rahman
One Ball Knits. Purses: 20 Stylish Handbags Made with a Single Ball, Skein, Hank, or Spool by Fatema Habibur-Rahman
Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant

Happy crafting,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From Needles to Hook

I recently checked out the book From Needles to Hook: Complete Guide to Converting Knit Patterns to Crochet put out by the Needlecraft Shop. As I've mentioned before, crochet does not, and probably cannot, feel and drape like knit. But this book shows crochet patterns that resemble some popular knit designs.

If you want a visual match, try these ideas. If you want the feel of knit, there is no substitution.

Happy crafting,

Mosaic Crochet

'Tis the season to not only make a one-piece afghan, but something that will keep you toasty as you work.

Here's something just a little different that is warm and beautiful. Mosaic Magic by Lily Chin shows you how to make gorgeous, rich designs using nothing more fancy than single and double crochet - stretched out a bit. She shows you how to do a long single crochet stitch and a long double crochet which give your afghan a richly textured look.

If you don't catch the library's copy in, we'll put on hold one of several other copies available through Evergreen Indiana.

Happy crafting,


Bavarian Crochet

Woohoo!! Time to try something new!

The library has - in the new book section - Learn to Do Bavarian Crochet by Jenny King. The finished projects appear to be made out of linked diamond shapes, but you don't have to sew anything together. Each project is worked in one piece.

You can organize your colors or turn the projects into stash busters. There are plenty of photos to help you understand the instructions.

Happy crafting,