Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats Book Review and Giveaway

This week  I have the pleasure of reviewing,

“Mommy and Me Crocheted Hats”
30 Fun & Stylish Designs for Kids of All Ages
designed by Kristi Simpson for Stackpole Books.

If you love to crochet hats, then you are going to love Kristi Simpson’s latest book,  
Mommy and Me Crocheted Hats! 

The hats in this book are so adorable! Most of the designs use very-readily-available yarns and are sized from Small Child to Adult, although there are a few that are sized for newborns as well. The designs are fun and most are easy to crochet. They would make quick gifts for anyone on your list!

Kristi’s latest book has lots of colorful photos and ‘how-to’ examples and has a great pictorial of Stitches, which could help even the novice crocheter. There is also a section on ‘How to Read My Patterns’ outlining all you need to know to crochet from one of Kristi’s patterns.

Stackpole Books has comprised a ‘look book’ to showcase all 30 crochet patterns.
You can view the look book HERE.

http://media.stackpolebooks.com/promotions/13276/mommymelookbook.pdf

Kristi Simpson is also author the popular Sweet and Simple Baby Crochet that I reviewed HERE last October.
She is also the genius behind RAKJ Patterns where she sells her self-published designs.

There is something for everyone in Mommy and Me Crocheted Hats, from playful to warm to cute to interesting; this hat book has it all!  (see Visual Index below).

As usual, our readers have a chance to WIN a copy of this book from the publisher, Stackpole Books.

Leave an email address or another way of contacting you in the COMMENTS below. We will pick a random winner on 5/2/14. Without an email address or contact info, I cannot contact you in case you are the winner!

Disclaimer: Review copy and giveaway copy of book supplied by Stackpole Books.

Advertisements

Fair Isle Crochet Class by Karen Whooley

I am super excited to be able to write to you about a new Craftsy class that my dear friend, Karen Whooley is teaching. It is a new technique class that I don’t think is available anywhere else!
Make sure you read this post to the end to see how you could win this class for FREE and also how to purchase this class at 50% OFF!

Taking a class on Craftsy through videos is a great way to learn a new skill. It gives you a much more in-depth experience into learning a new technique.

http://karenwhooley.com/

The Fair Isle Crochet class includes seven (7) video lessons with over 3 hours of instruction.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching and learning from this class. Karen’s lovely ‘backstory’ into how she learned Fair Isle knitting and relating it to Fair Isle crochet was so interesting.

This class is full of incredible information, not only for Fair Isle crochet, but for basic crochet as well.

All of her explanations have wonderful details to teach you how to do Fair Isle crochet.

She also includes Designer Tips and a ‘bonus’ video to teach you how to design your own charts.

You will learn three (3) different projects for this class and all patterns and charts are included. Here are photos of the projects:

Fair Isle Hat
Fair Isle Trivet
Fair Isle Poet’s Shawl

Here are a list of just SOME of the class highlights:

1. Discusses and explains in great detail Intarsia crochet vs Tapestry crochet vs Fair Isle crochet, so you fully understand her version of Fair Isle Crochet and how she came up with it;

2. In depth instruction on How to read Fair Isle charts including, repeats for both left and right handed crocheters, reading repeats for both stitches and rows, reading charts for both flat and round Fair Isle crochet, reading color legends, creating your own legends, which yarns are best to work with;

3. In depth instructions on learning how to change colors, with many tips on how to be successful at it, carrying yarn, working flat pieces, working in the round, creating seamless crochet projects;

4. Great FINISHING techniques including, weaving in all ends so there is no bulk, encasing tails, making fringe;

5. Many tips and tricks to help you work Fair Isle crochet well including determining gauge, joining chains to work in the round, single crochet in ends of the rows, common mistakes, decreasing, how to rip if necessary;

I recommend this class for anyone who has been interested in learning how to read charts and how to change and carry colors in their crochet work, but especially for anyone who loves learning new crochet techniques in general. This class will teach you all you need to know about Karen’s technique for Fair Isle crochet.

As a reader of Cute Crochet Chat, you could WIN a free lifetime class of Fair Isle Crochet at Craftsy. For a chance to win, leave a COMMENT on this post and let us know which project you would like to learn to make from this class. Please make sure you leave an email address OR a way to contact you, if you are the winner.
AS A BONUS:  Karen is giving us a LINK to purchase her class at 50% OFF 

DISCLAIMER: Craftsy has provided both the review copy and giveaway class for Fair Isle Crochet by Karen Whooley. 

Crocheting Clothes Kids Love Book and Giveaway

I am so excited to present a new book from Creative Publishing International called Crochet Clothes Kids Love written and designed by Shelby Allaho and Ellen Gormley. This beautiful book includes 28 Fun-To-Wear Projects; crochet designs for kids including Dresses, Skirts, Vests, Scarfs, Hats, Legwarmers, Accessories and more!
The book is a joy to browse through. It has a bright and cheery page layout with great colorful photos.
The schematics are bold and easy to understand. The designs are trendy, yet practical and Allaho and Gormley seem to know exactly what kids would want to wear in today’s world.
I like the fact that there is Information written especially for children’s garment making including Gauge, Sizing, Choosing Yarns and Blocking Techniques. There are also two pages on Special Techniques, which through photos and easily understandable text, teach the reader How-To’s for 3 different crochet techniques that are very popular among crocheters today.
There is a great page of Tips and Tricks written by the designers as they were writing the book that should be helpful to anyone crocheting a pattern from this book.
Some of my favorites include:                      

Rochelle Hat
Plated Steel Tunisian T-Shirt
 Charming Bracelet
Pretty Popcorn Vest
Ellie Backpack
Lacy Sundress
Chelsea Capelet

Crocheting Clothes Kids Love is available from the publisher as well as Amazon.

As always, our readers have a chance to win a copy of this book. For a chance to win, please leave an email address (or some other way of contacting you!) in the COMMENTS. We will pick a random winner on 3/10/14. Without an email address, I cannot contact you in case you are the winner!
Good luck!
The review and giveaway copies of this book have been provided by Creative Publishing.

Crocheting Clothes Kids Love Book and Giveaway

I am so excited to present a new book from Creative Publishing International called Crochet Clothes Kids Love written and designed by Shelby Allaho and Ellen Gormley. This beautiful book includes 28 Fun-To-Wear Projects; crochet designs for kids including Dresses, Skirts, Vests, Scarfs, Hats, Legwarmers, Accessories and more!
The book is a joy to browse through. It has a bright and cheery page layout with great colorful photos.
The schematics are bold and easy to understand. The designs are trendy, yet practical and Allaho and Gormley seem to know exactly what kids would want to wear in today’s world.
I like the fact that there is Information written especially for children’s garment making including Gauge, Sizing, Choosing Yarns and Blocking Techniques. There are also two pages on Special Techniques, which through photos and easily understandable text, teach the reader How-To’s for 3 different crochet techniques that are very popular among crocheters today.
There is a great page of Tips and Tricks written by the designers as they were writing the book that should be helpful to anyone crocheting a pattern from this book.
Some of my favorites include:                      

Rochelle Hat
Plated Steel Tunisian T-Shirt
 Charming Bracelet
Pretty Popcorn Vest
Ellie Backpack
Lacy Sundress
Chelsea Capelet

Crocheting Clothes Kids Love is available from the publisher as well as Amazon.

As always, our readers have a chance to win a copy of this book. For a chance to win, please leave an email address (or some other way of contacting you!) in the COMMENTS. We will pick a random winner on 3/10/14. Without an email address, I cannot contact you in case you are the winner!
Good luck!
The review and giveaway copies of this book have been provided by Creative Publishing.

Tunisian Crochet Baby Book and Giveaway

I was recently asked to take a look at the new Tunisian Crochet Baby Book by Sharon H. Silverman. The book is published by Leisure Arts.
The book contains 8 pretty designs that highlight several different tunisian crochet stitches including cables, ripples, stripes, bobbles, and basket weave. Each design is separated from Easy to Intermediate.
From the Leisure Arts website:
“If you are new to Tunisian crochet, or need a refresher on the basics, the Tunisian Crochet Skills section will help you get started. Free online technique videos are also available”.
Sharon was interviewed by Cute Crochet Chat below. Some of our favorite designs from the book are highlighted during the interview.

<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>

1     How did you learn to crochet and how old were you when you learned?
All sorts of crafts appealed to me when I was little. I made “horse rein” on what some people call a Knitting Nancy, did mosaics, made potholders, and so on. My mother taught me to crochet when I was 6 or 7 years old. She also taught me to knit, but I never felt as comfortable with that. Crocheting was always fun. I used some published patterns but also made up my own designs. I vividly remember using a K hook with two colors of blue yarn held together to make a shoulder bag.
 .       How long have you been a freelance crochet designer?
     I have been a freelance writer since 1988, and I switched from travel writing to crochet design in 2005.
      Are you a part time or full time crochet designer?
   Crochet design makes up the bulk of my current work. I also write a quarterly column, “Shop!” for The Hunt magazine (a Brandywine Valley lifestyle magazine), do public relations writing for several local museums and cultural sites, and pick up  other writing assignments occasionally. 
         How did you learn Tunisian Crochet?
     I discovered Tunisian crochet in a stitch dictionary while I was designing projects for my first crochet title, Basic Crocheting: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started. I learned the basics from that book, then sought out other sources to extend my knowledge of the technique. It was really exciting to see the fabric that Tunisian crochet creates. I never liked projects with rivers of double crochet stitches—too loopy!—and Tunisian had a totally different look.
      Where did you get your inspirations for the afghans in this Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets book?
    Tunisian crochet lends itself to interesting textures and colorwork. I was inspired by those possibilities, and by my interest in bringing a contemporary color palette to today’s nurseries.
I also wanted to present projects at various levels of difficulty; people who were newer to Tunisian crochet would successfully make beautiful projects that would build their confidence, and more advanced crocheters could try something challenging and add to their skill set. The most complicated project in the book is “Bright Strands,” which uses stranded colorwork in vivid yellow, navy, and white. It’s rewarding to teach this technique through my pattern.
      What are your favorite kind of crochet projects to make and/or design?
    If I’m making something for myself, I like fitted garments as opposed to boxy ones. Crochet lace makes wonderful accessories like scarves and shawls.
    For design, it’s exciting to be inspired by the colors and patterns in nature and to translate that into a pattern that other crocheters can use. Blankets and accessories are the easiest from a practical pattern-writing standpoint, since each project needs instructions in only one size.  
7 \        Do you have a favorite weight or brand of yarn that you like best?
    Depends on the project. There are many excellent yarn companies, large and small, out there today. The products are such high quality, with a limitless selection of materials and colors.
     I love Egyptian mercerized cotton in lace weight for shawls and lightweight wraps, but I like DK and worsted weight yarn as well. I don’t gravitate toward bulky yarns as much, but I’ll try anything as long as it does not split or shed. Can’t stand fibers flying into my eyes and nose! 
8       Are you working on anything new at the moment?
   I just finished a book for Stackpole Books, Tunisian Crochet for Baby, which is scheduled for publication in September 2014. 
Thank you, Sharon, for such an interesting interview!
Sharon’s book can be purchased at the Leisure Arts website or on Amazon.
You can meet Sharon at her blog:
or her website:

www.sharonsilverman.com 

You can also find Sharon at Ravelry as: CrochetSharon
and on Facebook
Sharon Silverman Crochet
and Pinterest:
http://www.pinterest.com/crochetsharon/

As always, our readers have a chance to win a copy of this book. For a chance to win, please leave an email address (or some other way of contacting you!) in the COMMENTS. We will pick a random winner on 2/18/14. Without an email address, I cannot contact you in case you are the winner!
Good luck!

The review and giveaway copies of this book have been provided by Leisure Arts.

Tunisian Crochet Baby Book and Giveaway

I was recently asked to take a look at the new Tunisian Crochet Baby Book by Sharon H. Silverman. The book is published by Leisure Arts.
The book contains 8 pretty designs that highlight several different tunisian crochet stitches including cables, ripples, stripes, bobbles, and basket weave. Each design is separated from Easy to Intermediate.
From the Leisure Arts website:
“If you are new to Tunisian crochet, or need a refresher on the basics, the Tunisian Crochet Skills section will help you get started. Free online technique videos are also available”.
Sharon was interviewed by Cute Crochet Chat below. Some of our favorite designs from the book are highlighted during the interview.

<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>

1     How did you learn to crochet and how old were you when you learned?
All sorts of crafts appealed to me when I was little. I made “horse rein” on what some people call a Knitting Nancy, did mosaics, made potholders, and so on. My mother taught me to crochet when I was 6 or 7 years old. She also taught me to knit, but I never felt as comfortable with that. Crocheting was always fun. I used some published patterns but also made up my own designs. I vividly remember using a K hook with two colors of blue yarn held together to make a shoulder bag.
 .       How long have you been a freelance crochet designer?
     I have been a freelance writer since 1988, and I switched from travel writing to crochet design in 2005.
      Are you a part time or full time crochet designer?
   Crochet design makes up the bulk of my current work. I also write a quarterly column, “Shop!” for The Hunt magazine (a Brandywine Valley lifestyle magazine), do public relations writing for several local museums and cultural sites, and pick up  other writing assignments occasionally. 
         How did you learn Tunisian Crochet?
     I discovered Tunisian crochet in a stitch dictionary while I was designing projects for my first crochet title, Basic Crocheting: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started. I learned the basics from that book, then sought out other sources to extend my knowledge of the technique. It was really exciting to see the fabric that Tunisian crochet creates. I never liked projects with rivers of double crochet stitches—too loopy!—and Tunisian had a totally different look.
      Where did you get your inspirations for the afghans in this Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets book?
    Tunisian crochet lends itself to interesting textures and colorwork. I was inspired by those possibilities, and by my interest in bringing a contemporary color palette to today’s nurseries.
I also wanted to present projects at various levels of difficulty; people who were newer to Tunisian crochet would successfully make beautiful projects that would build their confidence, and more advanced crocheters could try something challenging and add to their skill set. The most complicated project in the book is “Bright Strands,” which uses stranded colorwork in vivid yellow, navy, and white. It’s rewarding to teach this technique through my pattern.
      What are your favorite kind of crochet projects to make and/or design?
    If I’m making something for myself, I like fitted garments as opposed to boxy ones. Crochet lace makes wonderful accessories like scarves and shawls.
    For design, it’s exciting to be inspired by the colors and patterns in nature and to translate that into a pattern that other crocheters can use. Blankets and accessories are the easiest from a practical pattern-writing standpoint, since each project needs instructions in only one size.  
7 \        Do you have a favorite weight or brand of yarn that you like best?
    Depends on the project. There are many excellent yarn companies, large and small, out there today. The products are such high quality, with a limitless selection of materials and colors.
     I love Egyptian mercerized cotton in lace weight for shawls and lightweight wraps, but I like DK and worsted weight yarn as well. I don’t gravitate toward bulky yarns as much, but I’ll try anything as long as it does not split or shed. Can’t stand fibers flying into my eyes and nose! 
8       Are you working on anything new at the moment?
   I just finished a book for Stackpole Books, Tunisian Crochet for Baby, which is scheduled for publication in September 2014. 
Thank you, Sharon, for such an interesting interview!
Sharon’s book can be purchased at the Leisure Arts website or on Amazon.
You can meet Sharon at her blog:
or her website:

www.sharonsilverman.com 

You can also find Sharon at Ravelry as: CrochetSharon
and on Facebook
Sharon Silverman Crochet
and Pinterest:
http://www.pinterest.com/crochetsharon/

As always, our readers have a chance to win a copy of this book. For a chance to win, please leave an email address (or some other way of contacting you!) in the COMMENTS. We will pick a random winner on 2/18/14. Without an email address, I cannot contact you in case you are the winner!
Good luck!

The review and giveaway copies of this book have been provided by Leisure Arts.

"50 Tunisian Stitches" Book and Giveaway by Darla Fanton

I am honored to have been asked to review the new tunisian crochet book, 
“50 Tunisian Stitches by Darla Fanton”, published by Annie’s Crochet.  
Darla is an incredible designer and has many, many pattern books to her credit over the years. She is also considered to be one of the premiere crochet teachers in our industry! I am so fortunate to call her my dear friend and colleague!

Some incredible features of this book:

  • If you have ever done Tunisian or taught Tunisian crochet it is sometimes difficult for beginners to see where they are supposed to insert the hook for the final stitch in the row.  To make it easier for beginners, Darla developed a method to mark the right spot.
  • A lot of other books teaching Tunisian Crochet say to carry unused colors of yarns up the side edge, but they don’t really tell you HOW to carry them. Darla gives detailed instructions (pages 31-33) on exactly how to do this.  Her method of carrying the yarn not only results in a neater appearance, it also stabilizes the edge!

I really love this Tunisian Crochet Book. The cover is bright and beautiful and I love browsing through all the beautiful colorful photographs of each stitch listed. It gives a nice closeup photo of each stitch. (see a sampling of photos below).
 If you are new to Tunisian crochet, the basic information in the beginning of the book has lots of color photographs to help you get started. The stitch dictionary starts with all the basic Tunisian stitches such as the simple knit, purl, reverse, extended simple stitch, double, full and twisted stitches and then moves onto the more intermediate ones. 
The directions seem clear and easy to understand. A diagram at the beginning of each new stitch shows you exactly where to start the new stitch. The book also includes four (4) ‘get-started’ Tunisian crochet patterns, including a keyhole scarf, a roll brim hat, a mobius shawl and a pretty wrap. Each design is made using worsted-weight yarn.

“50 Tunisian Stitches” can be purchased at Amazon

or 

at Annie’s Catalog.  

Maggie’s Crochet just posted some great photos of this book on Facebook also HERE.

Our readers have a chance to win a copy of this book. For a chance to win a copy of “50 Tunisian Stitches”, leave an email address (or some other way of contacting you!) in the COMMENTS; let us know if you have ever done Tunisian crochet before! We will pick a random winner on 2/7/14. Without an email address, I cannot contact you in case you are the winner!
Good luck!
2/7/14 WE HAVE A WINNER! Thank you to all who participated!
The review and giveaway copies of this book have been provided by Annie’s Crochet & Crafts.