Crochet Stitches, Visual Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula

At Cute Crochet Chat, we LOVE any kind of giveaway! Today I am pleased to review (and give away) a wonderful new book by the incredibly popular crochet designer, Robyn Chachula. The book is entitled, Crochet Stitches, Visual Encyclopedia and is published by Wiley. It has been a while since I have seen a crochet book that is so visually appealing.

This book is beautiful. But Crochet Stitches, Visual Encyclopedia is so much more than that! This is a book that you will keep in your crochet library forever. This is a book that you will browse through when you want to be visually inspired. This is a book that you will pick up when you are looking for just-the-right-stitch-pattern for your latest design or project. This is a book that you will go to when you want to LEARN a new crochet stitch pattern or when you want to EXPERIMENT with new crochet stitch patterns. Not enough? There are stitch patterns in this book that I have not seen anywhere else!

Each crochet stitch pattern is accompanied by beautiful full color photographs and easy to read stitch diagrams. There are TIPS throughout the book, which will make learning and using the stitch patterns even more enjoyable!

There are a whopping 36 individual crochet stitch categories, encompassing nine chapters! Included are Simple Stitches, Textured Stitches, Lace Stitches, *Unique* Lace Stitches, Colorwork Stitches, Tunisian Stitches, Square and Hexagonal Motifs, Flower and Snowflake Joining Motifs, and Edging Stitches!

Some of my favorites are the Circular Motifs and the Partial Motif patterns.

Robyn was gracious enough to answer a few questions for our readers!

1. Do you have a favorite book that you have authored?

That is a hard question since I am in love or hate every book I have worked on.  It all depends.  Right now I am loving this encyclopedia.  I have one stationed upstairs in my office and downstairs in my living room.  I am coming back to it over and over while I am writing my new book.  And that is exactly what I wanted to do.  I really wrote this one for me, to catalog all my favorite patterns in one place. *  And so far I have been really using it.  But I am sure my mood will switch and I will get fall back in love with another soon.
* (Reviewer’s Note) I love the fact that Robyn initially wanted to write the book so she could compile all her favorite stitches and motifs into one resource!

2. Which is your favorite crochet technique?

Again, it all depends on the way the wind is blowing.  I adore motifs when I am exploring a yarn for the first time.  I love simple stitch patterns to highlight more challenging garment construction.  I use Tunisian to relax after a stressful day; I just love the woven look some patterns can give. 

3. Do you ever crochet from other designer’s crochet patterns and if so, do you prefer to follow the written instructions or a visual stitch diagram?

I rarely have time to do anything but my own work.  I think the last time was 18 months ago, when we were moving actually.  And even then, I made up my own pattern.  I do like reading patterns though.  I love to see how another designer’s brain works.  For me, stitch diagrams are the key to reading.  I am dyslexic, and the abbreviations are incredibly difficult. That’s why I love stitch diagrams.  I can follow those so much easier and really understand how a piece goes together.

Thank you, Robyn, for giving us a glimpse into your design world! If you would like to “meet” Robyn or learn more about her new book, she recently was interviewed on Getting Loopy podcast and Yarn Thing podcast and LB YarnCraft podcast.
Just for FUN, Wiley is giving away a copy of Crochet Stitches to ONE lucky reader of Cute Crochet Chat! In order to be eligible to win, comment on this blog and tell our readers how you have used crochet stitch dictionaries in the past to enhance your crocheting! If you have not done so before, HOW WOULD you use this crochet stitch encyclopedia? Please DON’T FORGET to leave a contact email address in your comment!
A thank you goes out to Wiley Publishing for providing the review copy to Cute Crochet Chat and also the giveaway copy of the book!
You may also purchase a copy of this book at Amazon.

Crochet Stitches, Visual Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula

At Cute Crochet Chat, we LOVE any kind of giveaway! Today I am pleased to review (and give away) a wonderful new book by the incredibly popular crochet designer, Robyn Chachula. The book is entitled, Crochet Stitches, Visual Encyclopedia and is published by Wiley. It has been a while since I have seen a crochet book that is so visually appealing.

This book is beautiful. But Crochet Stitches, Visual Encyclopedia is so much more than that! This is a book that you will keep in your crochet library forever. This is a book that you will browse through when you want to be visually inspired. This is a book that you will pick up when you are looking for just-the-right-stitch-pattern for your latest design or project. This is a book that you will go to when you want to LEARN a new crochet stitch pattern or when you want to EXPERIMENT with new crochet stitch patterns. Not enough? There are stitch patterns in this book that I have not seen anywhere else!

Each crochet stitch pattern is accompanied by beautiful full color photographs and easy to read stitch diagrams. There are TIPS throughout the book, which will make learning and using the stitch patterns even more enjoyable!

There are a whopping 36 individual crochet stitch categories, encompassing nine chapters! Included are Simple Stitches, Textured Stitches, Lace Stitches, *Unique* Lace Stitches, Colorwork Stitches, Tunisian Stitches, Square and Hexagonal Motifs, Flower and Snowflake Joining Motifs, and Edging Stitches!

Some of my favorites are the Circular Motifs and the Partial Motif patterns.

Robyn was gracious enough to answer a few questions for our readers!

1. Do you have a favorite book that you have authored?

That is a hard question since I am in love or hate every book I have worked on.  It all depends.  Right now I am loving this encyclopedia.  I have one stationed upstairs in my office and downstairs in my living room.  I am coming back to it over and over while I am writing my new book.  And that is exactly what I wanted to do.  I really wrote this one for me, to catalog all my favorite patterns in one place. *  And so far I have been really using it.  But I am sure my mood will switch and I will get fall back in love with another soon.
* (Reviewer’s Note) I love the fact that Robyn initially wanted to write the book so she could compile all her favorite stitches and motifs into one resource!

2. Which is your favorite crochet technique?

Again, it all depends on the way the wind is blowing.  I adore motifs when I am exploring a yarn for the first time.  I love simple stitch patterns to highlight more challenging garment construction.  I use Tunisian to relax after a stressful day; I just love the woven look some patterns can give. 

3. Do you ever crochet from other designer’s crochet patterns and if so, do you prefer to follow the written instructions or a visual stitch diagram?

I rarely have time to do anything but my own work.  I think the last time was 18 months ago, when we were moving actually.  And even then, I made up my own pattern.  I do like reading patterns though.  I love to see how another designer’s brain works.  For me, stitch diagrams are the key to reading.  I am dyslexic, and the abbreviations are incredibly difficult. That’s why I love stitch diagrams.  I can follow those so much easier and really understand how a piece goes together.

Thank you, Robyn, for giving us a glimpse into your design world! If you would like to “meet” Robyn or learn more about her new book, she recently was interviewed on Getting Loopy podcast and Yarn Thing podcast and LB YarnCraft podcast.
Just for FUN, Wiley is giving away a copy of Crochet Stitches to ONE lucky reader of Cute Crochet Chat! In order to be eligible to win, comment on this blog and tell our readers how you have used crochet stitch dictionaries in the past to enhance your crocheting! If you have not done so before, HOW WOULD you use this crochet stitch encyclopedia? Please DON’T FORGET to leave a contact email address in your comment!
A thank you goes out to Wiley Publishing for providing the review copy to Cute Crochet Chat and also the giveaway copy of the book!
You may also purchase a copy of this book at Amazon.

>50 Ripples Stitches Crochet Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

>

What a treat! A book devoted only to crochet ripple stitches! I love crochet stitch reference books. I have several different ones and the books that have beautiful color photos are my favorite.

As a designer who loves crochet stitch patterns, crochet stitch reference books can be so inspirational when contemplating my next design.

This new book, “50 Ripple Stitches” by Darla Sims and published by Annie’s Attic is definitely a book that you will want to add to your crochet stitch library. Since I learned to crochet, ripple stitches have been one of my favorites stitch patterns, especially in afghans and dishcloths. But I recently designed a women’s headband in a ripple chevron stitch (you can view it on the left sidebar), so wearables can be designed with these pattern stitches also! There is something magical about the variety of patterns that can be achieved just by changing the order of your basic ch, sc, and dc stitches! I think ripple stitches also remind me of quilt patterns, which I love! 

“50 Ripple Stitches” has such a variety of ripples with so many different stitch patterns!

Each listed Ripple Stitch has very detailed instructions. Each Stitch is named,  the Pattern Notes tell you how many colors are used in each sample, it outlines the Special Stitch for each pattern, then gives row by row instructions on how to duplicate the stitch pattern.

There are some incredibly UNIQUE and fresh Ripple Stitches in the book including

                                                                      SWEET DREAMS

 AND

                                                                         CURLIQUES

Some of my most favorites stitch patterns are:                            

                                                                       BODACIOUS

                                                                     LITTLE HEARTS

                                                                     PRETTY POSIES

Besides the ripple stitch patterns, this book includes:

  1. An illustrated Stitch Guide with stitch abbreviations,
  2. A yarn conversion chart, 
  3. A conversion chart for both United States and United Kingdom crochet stitches.

Some of the ripple patterns were familiar to me but most were ripple stitch patterns that I have not seen before, which is a great plus!


Annie’s Attic has generously supplied us with TWO books for our giveaway! In order to be eligible to win one of these books, become a FOLLOWER OF THIS BLOG in the left sidebar (if you have not already done so!) and leave a comment on this post.  Let us know if you have any crochet stitch reference guides and which one you like best! I am going to enjoy seeing all the responses! PLEASE, PLEASE don’t forget to leave your contact information and/or email address, so we can contact you if you are one of the winners!
Two (2) lucky winners will be drawn at random at the end of the contest!
I ♥ giving things away! Good luck!

50 Ripples Stitches Crochet Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

What a treat! A book devoted only to crochet ripple stitches! I love crochet stitch reference books. I have several different ones and the books that have beautiful color photos are my favorite.

As a designer who loves crochet stitch patterns, crochet stitch reference books can be so inspirational when contemplating my next design.

This new book, “50 Ripple Stitches” by Darla Sims and published by Annie’s Attic is definitely a book that you will want to add to your crochet stitch library. Since I learned to crochet, ripple stitches have been one of my favorites stitch patterns, especially in afghans and dishcloths. But I recently designed a women’s headband in a ripple chevron stitch (you can view it on the left sidebar), so wearables can be designed with these pattern stitches also! There is something magical about the variety of patterns that can be achieved just by changing the order of your basic ch, sc, and dc stitches! I think ripple stitches also remind me of quilt patterns, which I love! 

“50 Ripple Stitches” has such a variety of ripples with so many different stitch patterns!

Each listed Ripple Stitch has very detailed instructions. Each Stitch is named,  the Pattern Notes tell you how many colors are used in each sample, it outlines the Special Stitch for each pattern, then gives row by row instructions on how to duplicate the stitch pattern.

There are some incredibly UNIQUE and fresh Ripple Stitches in the book including

                                                                      SWEET DREAMS

 AND

                                                                         CURLIQUES

Some of my most favorites stitch patterns are:                            

                                                                       BODACIOUS

                                                                     LITTLE HEARTS

                                                                     PRETTY POSIES

Besides the ripple stitch patterns, this book includes:

  1. An illustrated Stitch Guide with stitch abbreviations,
  2. A yarn conversion chart, 
  3. A conversion chart for both United States and United Kingdom crochet stitches.

Some of the ripple patterns were familiar to me but most were ripple stitch patterns that I have not seen before, which is a great plus!


Annie’s Attic has generously supplied us with TWO books for our giveaway! In order to be eligible to win one of these books, become a FOLLOWER OF THIS BLOG in the left sidebar (if you have not already done so!) and leave a comment on this post.  Let us know if you have any crochet stitch reference guides and which one you like best! I am going to enjoy seeing all the responses! PLEASE, PLEASE don’t forget to leave your contact information and/or email address, so we can contact you if you are one of the winners!
Two (2) lucky winners will be drawn at random at the end of the contest!
I ♥ giving things away! Good luck!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

Yes! another giveaway! 
In honor or National Crochet Month, we are giving away several crochet related items this month!
I am so pleased to present a review on the new book from Leisure Arts,
Even at first glance, this book is awesome! I love the fact that EVERYTHING you need to know about crocheting socks is included in this book. As a novice sock crocheter, I can see that this book has A LOT to offer someone who wants to learn how to crochet socks. But it goes much further than that and offers nine creative designs for every level of sock crocheter!
This book is as complete as any crochet sock book that I have seen. There is so much helpful information.  Not only does it contain really nice patterns for making socks from different techniques, it explains how to pick the correct yarn and supplies, how to insure that your crochet socks will fit perfectly and the different methods of constructing socks. And there is something for everyone: men, women and older children. 
Crocheting a sock that fits is one of the more important aspects of Karen’s instructions. One of the most frequent comments that Karen gets about her sock instructions is that “you can actually make them to fit your own foot”! She covers everything from yarn, types of yarn fibers, colors, heel types, sizing, construction and tools. All the patterns come in multiple sizes and there are lots of step by step colorful photographs for the beginner Basic Cuff Down and the Basic Toe Up Sock. I can’t think of one thing that has been left out of this wonderful book.
With her very complete instructions, Karen assures us that “Yes, we can crochet socks that fit and look great!”.

Karen was good enough to answer a couple of questions, that will allow us to make good choices if we are considering crocheting socks from her book:
Q: If someone were crocheting socks for the first time, which one or two pair would you advise that they start with? 
A: I would definitely start with the Basic Cuff-Down Sock (shown at left) first.  Once that is mastered then try the Basic Toe-Up Sock! (shown at right).  The hardest part of a sock is the toe, based on my classes.  I find that if a student takes the cuff-down sock class first, they understand what the toe should be doing and that makes the toe up easier! 

 

Q: Are there any patterns that would be considered to be for the Advanced crocheter?
A: I would consider the Cabled Sock, the Lace Sock and the Cobblestone sock patterns for the Advanced Crocheter.  In those 3 socks, stitch counts and knowing where to put the hook to get the texture/lace work to come out right, can be confusing at times.  Counting and making sure your counts are right is crucial in order to get the cable, lacework and texture in the right places!

One lucky reader will receive a copy of this great book, signed by Karen herself! In order to qualify for this giveaway, make  a comment on this post telling us if you have ever tried crocheting socks before and what your experience was. PLEASE, PLEASE leave an email address or some other way we can contact you if you are the winner. One comment will be drawn randomly soon after the end of this Blog Tour, twelve days of socks!

>I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

>

Yes! another giveaway! 
In honor or National Crochet Month, we are giving away several crochet related items this month!
I am so pleased to present a review on the new book from Leisure Arts,
Even at first glance, this book is awesome! I love the fact that EVERYTHING you need to know about crocheting socks is included in this book. As a novice sock crocheter, I can see that this book has A LOT to offer someone who wants to learn how to crochet socks. But it goes much further than that and offers nine creative designs for every level of sock crocheter!
This book is as complete as any crochet sock book that I have seen. There is so much helpful information.  Not only does it contain really nice patterns for making socks from different techniques, it explains how to pick the correct yarn and supplies, how to insure that your crochet socks will fit perfectly and the different methods of constructing socks. And there is something for everyone: men, women and older children. 
Crocheting a sock that fits is one of the more important aspects of Karen’s instructions. One of the most frequent comments that Karen gets about her sock instructions is that “you can actually make them to fit your own foot”! She covers everything from yarn, types of yarn fibers, colors, heel types, sizing, construction and tools. All the patterns come in multiple sizes and there are lots of step by step colorful photographs for the beginner Basic Cuff Down and the Basic Toe Up Sock. I can’t think of one thing that has been left out of this wonderful book.
With her very complete instructions, Karen assures us that “Yes, we can crochet socks that fit and look great!”.

Karen was good enough to answer a couple of questions, that will allow us to make good choices if we are considering crocheting socks from her book:
Q: If someone were crocheting socks for the first time, which one or two pair would you advise that they start with? 
A: I would definitely start with the Basic Cuff-Down Sock (shown at left) first.  Once that is mastered then try the Basic Toe-Up Sock! (shown at right).  The hardest part of a sock is the toe, based on my classes.  I find that if a student takes the cuff-down sock class first, they understand what the toe should be doing and that makes the toe up easier! 

 

Q: Are there any patterns that would be considered to be for the Advanced crocheter?
A: I would consider the Cabled Sock, the Lace Sock and the Cobblestone sock patterns for the Advanced Crocheter.  In those 3 socks, stitch counts and knowing where to put the hook to get the texture/lace work to come out right, can be confusing at times.  Counting and making sure your counts are right is crucial in order to get the cable, lacework and texture in the right places!

One lucky reader will receive a copy of this great book, signed by Karen herself! In order to qualify for this giveaway, make  a comment on this post telling us if you have ever tried crocheting socks before and what your experience was. PLEASE, PLEASE leave an email address or some other way we can contact you if you are the winner. One comment will be drawn randomly soon after the end of this Blog Tour, twelve days of socks!

Stitch Nation Yarn Review

Do you want some high quality, natural fiber yarn at an acrylic price? Then click on over to Joann’s Fabric and Craft Store online and purchase some of the new yarn by ‘Red Heart’ called Stitch Nation!
There are three different new yarns in this line called Bamboo Ewe, Full of Sheep and Alpaca Love. The samples I received have incredibly luscious colors. Since I usually like to create a new design instead of just swatching, I designed three new accessories, one with each new yarn!

 

Bamboo Ewe is as soft as you would expect a Bamboo yarn to be. In addition to it’s softness and brilliant color, it has really nice stitch definition. The smoothness of this yarn made my design crochet up really quickly! My mom needed a new small handbag, so I designed a pretty one for her with this yarn. A swatch is shown at the left, but I hope to have the full pattern available soon!

Full of Sheep has a firmer texture as would be expected from 100% peruvian wool. I really enjoyed crocheting with Full of Sheep and it, also, has a nice, textured stitch definition. I wanted to try it for felting, but decided instead to design an ear warmer/headband, as I knew that this 100% wool would be nice and warm! The color I was sent is Plummy and the ‘purple’ color is so deep and rich, perfect for today’s designs. I plan on trying to felt it next! When fastening off with Full of Sheep or using it to sew your crochet item together, you do need to be careful and not pull the yarn too tightly, as it seemed to break much easier than other yarns I have used. As long as I was gentle, this did not cause me any problems!

I think Alpaca Love is going to be my favorite; the alpaca mixed with wool makes it so great to touch; a firm yet oh-so-soft texture. While crocheting, the yarn was so soft and smooth, like butter running through my fingers. It was not slick like some ribbon yarn or silks, just smooth, which made for really nice crocheting. I designed a crochet baby hat with it for my new grandson who is expected any day now! I can’t wait to post a photo with him in the hat!
Alpaca Love was definitely named correctly because you are going to love it!

I can’t wait to see all the new colors of these yarns in person. I believe that Stitch Nation yarn will be available at Joann’s Craft Stores sometime in March. Until then, you can, of course, purchase it at Joann’s Fabric and Crafts online.

Disclaimer: The yarn from Stitch Nation was provided to me to use in my design work.