Review: Comfort Knitting & Crochet: Afghans

cover48973-mediumAny yarn worker knows that afghans are one of the top projects to take on. I have yet to make a blanket/afghan because they are so intimidating, but the book Comfort Knitting &Crochet: Afghans makes it seem not so hard. Looking through this book you will find patterns, color inspiration, and variety. You won’t just see crochet granny squares to sew together and make a blanket; there are also different crafts highlighted in the book too. You will find crochet patterns, knitting patterns, and embroidery. I like that it features both crochet and knitting because I have found that most yarn crafters, me included, enjoy both knit and crochet projects and having them both in one book is awesome! Go check out the book!

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Review: Crochet

9781465415912_e3559Crochet, a book published by DK Publishing, is an essential guide book for any crocheter to have, beginner or advanced. Some vital guides are included in this book that I find to be amazingly helpful.  Everything is covered from the basic daisy chain to filet crochet. One of the best parts of this book is that it covers blocking. I’ve not been able to find any good guides on how to block anywhere until I read this book and I am so happy I found it. It describes more than one way to go about it to.

Seasoned crocheter or just starting out, I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this craft. It will help you tremendously.

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Review: Crochet Workshop

cover47734-mediumI recently had the honor of reviewing Crochet Workshop by James Walters for free in exchange for an honest review, and that is exactly what I intend to do.  First, this book is not a piece of eye candy. There are no bright, vibrant colors and the illustrations are kind of crude hand drawings. However, the information that is in this little gem of a book is pretty invaluable. While reading through this book I saw a few techniques pointed out that brought to light some issues I have been having with my work. Notice I said “technique” because these outcomes are purposefully sought after, however I created the effect by accident. With the information of this book I will be able to keep from making the same mistakes.

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TV and Pretend Knitting

I’m sitting on my couch in the living room along with the rest of my family, we are watching TV. We are all enjoying some wholesome family program and all of a sudden there is a scene in which someone is “knitting.” It is extremely obvious that the actor/actress has absolutely no idea how to even begin to knit and that the long scarf hanging from the knitting needles was put there by some prop manager. This bothers me a little more than it should. “Obviously that girl (or grandma or woman) doesn’t know how to knit.” and then someone replies with “Why would they need to know, it’s just a TV show?” Well, when someone pretends to play a guitar they at least know how to pretend to hold their fingers over the strings for a chord and strum. Or, when someone is pretending to drive they know they have to hold the steering wheel and move it at lease a little bit. And if someone is pretending to cook they know they should turn the knobs on the stove. Why wouldn’t the actor pretending to knit be instructed on how to at least hold the needles right and move them in the right way. It is a slap in the face to knitters, well maybe it’s not that dramatic. But it sure is annoying to see.

The picture is of Sophia Grace and Rosie on Sam and Cat, a popular show on Nickelodeon, and the knitting needle is being held like a pencil pointed to the wrong spot in the work. I know I know, they are just little girls, but surely someone on that set should have been able to show her how to hold it right. Ok, I’m of my soap box, for now.

Rosie McClelland, Sophia Grace Brownlee

 

(Gwen reading and Ruby Knitting from samandcat.wikia.com)

Where my stitches at?!

I want to start a series that will probably last for the next few weeks to highlight some basic and not so basic crochet stitches. I also want to talk about some of the different types of fabrics that can be made by combining these stitches. One thing I hear a lot is that some crocheters can’t seem to get the hang of working from pattern. I can seem how a pattern, when looked at as a whole, can seem intimidating and difficult. What I find to be the best way to look at even the most advanced of patterns is to just take it a row at a time (or round) and just follow the stitch. Trying to work from this perspective helps break down to pattern process.
The first stitch I want to show how to accomplish is the half double crochet (or HDC). This is my favorite stitch, especially for hats, because for me I can work it faster. I don’t know why that is, it’s just always had the best flow when working HDC in the round especially.

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The first step to complete a HDC is to begin with the loop on your hook from the previous stitch or the chain from the previous row and yarn over once.

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Next you will insert your hook through the stitch you are working in.

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The third step is to pull a loop back through the stitch you are working in which leaves you with three loops on your hook.

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The final step is to yarn over one last time and pull through all three loops on your hook.

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You have now completed your half double crochet stitch.

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The one thing to remember is that all of those fancy patterns and techniques are really just a combination of the basic stitches of crochet. Don’t let any pattern intimidate you. Happy crocheting!

Barefoot Moscato

There are different levels of wine on both the white and red side as far as sweetness and dryness goes. It takes a while to build up ones palette to be able to handle the drier wines, but when you get to that point it is often hard to drink the sweeter wines. Those who have not worked on their wine palette tend to prefer the sweeter wines as the dry ones are a bit harsh for them.

Of the lower “value” wines to choose from, Barefoot wine has been winning quite a few awards lately. The bottle I have in my fridge right now boasts Barefoot to be the most awarded wine brand for “consistent quality, proven value” and I’m fairly certain that is of the U.S. made brands. One of the sweeter wines on the white wine spectrum is Moscato wine is one of the more popular. I can say that it is not dry at all but it is a little too sweet for me. My non-wine drinking friends tend to like it though, and I imagine if you are not a fan of dry wines it can be preferable to drier wines. I am thinking of giving Barefoot’s Crisp White wine a try, it just sounds good.

 

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