Book Review - A Garden of Shawls

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Title: A Garden of Shawls
Author: Karen Whooley
MSRP: $21.95 USD

Book review by Pia Thadani - Stitches'N'Scraps


Spring is around the corner, and I'm completely obsessed with light, lacy shawls right now. Of course that means I was thrilled when I got the chance to review this book!

A Garden of Shawls - By Karen Whooley

A Garden of Shawls includes 12 lovely shawl patterns. Some of the designs are more solid, with lacy edgings and borders, while others feature all-over lace designs. With this selection, you're sure to find the perfect shawl for any occasion, whether you need something dressy and elegant, or something more casual and relaxed. I particularly love her use of big, bold borders on some of the shawls, like this one called Palisade.

Palisades - Crochet pattern by Karen Whooley

The shawls come in a variety of shapes as well, including rectangles, triangles, and rounded shapes. One of my favorites is Solar. The points give it a distinctly "sun-like" shape, and it has a beautiful ombre effect that's sure to brighten up anyone's day!

Solar - Crochet Pattern by Karen Whooley


This book is being released on April 4th (which is my birthday, how perfect is that?) and will be available in both print and ebook formats. You can pre-order it now though, and the author is running an awesome giveaway on her site! Read more about the details on the main book page. 




Disclaimer: A free review copy of A Garden of Shawls was provided by Karen Whooley. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. All images of copyrighted material are used with permission.

9 Free Crochet Patterns for Spring Flowers

Monday, March 13, 2017

I'm Marie from Underground Crafter. Each month during 2017, I'll be sharing a seasonal roundup of crochet patterns by some of the many talented designers who are members of the Crochet Guild of America. (If you're a crochet designer and CGOA member and would like to give us permission to include your work in these roundups, please contact me via my blog.)

This month's roundup features 9 free crochet patterns for spring flowers. These crochet flowers include embellishments, motifs, and floral projects. All photos are used with permission of the respective designer or publisher. Enjoy!



Clockwise from upper left corner:



What are your favorite crochet projects to make with flowers?

2017 CGOA Chain Link Conference

Wednesday, March 8, 2017



JOIN US IN CHICAGO!


Registration for the 2017 CGOA Chain Link Conference is now open! 

Visit the CGOA website for all information on the conference - including event details, a list of available classes, weekend schedule, directions, and more. 




Brought to you by blogger contributor:
Kristine Mullen
Ambassador Crochet


Getting To Know You - Swaantje Sass

Tuesday, February 28, 2017



Welcome to "Getting To Know You" on the blog. This is an opportunity for our members to share a little bit about themselves, and for us to learn more about each other and continue the family feel after leaving the annual conference. Although we may crochet by ourselves in our own homes, we are not alone in our love of crochet, and we have more in common than we realize. By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we will all learn something new about each other and the art of crochet! This month, enjoy getting to know...


Swaantje Sass




Location
Atlanta, GA

How many years crocheting and/or how did you learn to crochet?
I learned how to crochet on 1/21/12 and it changed my life.  I learned to knit first in 2011 which led to my taking a crochet class the following year at a Girl Scouts weekend leader retreat…and thus began my love affair with crochet.  Thank you, Laurie Hackworth, for teaching me how to crochet -  life today without crochet would be so unfulfilling!


What is your favorite crochet hook?
Amy Shelton wrote about Tulip Etimo crochet hooks during her 3/29/15 segment in Crochetville’s designer blog tour for NatCroMo (National Crochet Month).  You know what?  They do “glide like butter through every yarn” and after having tried many hooks, I can confidently say that they are my favorite, too!  The largest Tulip Etimo crochet hook is a K/6.5mm so I use Clover Amour for 7mm & up.



What is your favorite yarn? 
I love lively colors and my projects tend toward DK (3), worsted (4), and chunky (5) weight yarns.  I really like the color variations in Patons ColorWul, and Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice Tapestry and Unique.  I like the feel of Berroco Comfort Chunky and The Sassy Skein yarns are so vibrant (mercerized cotton).  For crocheting fine apparel, I use merino wool, nylon, metallics, and bamboo.  Felting wool is fun, too.  When crocheting scrap-tastic items, I often combine yarn weights.  Acrylic yarn is convenient 
because it’s easily washed, cost-friendly, & readily available at craft stores, however, I really dislike the pilling, fuzzy quality most seem to have. 

What is your favorite crochet stitch?
The crab and pom-pom stitches for edging – brilliant! 




Do you prefer a written pattern, a chart, or both?
I prefer written patterns but use charts (if provided) when the written directions are not clear.






What is your favorite item to make?  
I like crocheting skirts, purses, hats, scarves, baby gifts, household items like magic hot pads & pot holders, and I really enjoy Jenny King’s Get Squared technique.






















Who do you crochet for? 
Gift-giving always brings me joy so I crochet a lot of items for my family, friends, daughter’s teachers/bus driver, hairdresser, etc!  Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays - everyone knows to expect crochet from me – whether they like it or not!  ;-) 





How long have you been a CGOA member, and what is a fond memory from a CGOA Conference if you’ve attended one? 
I have been a CGOA member since 2013 and have attended 4 CGOA (and 3 Stitches South) conferences to date.  Having been a rowdy newbie in the Buddy Program (you may remember us from the 2013 Concord, NC conference) was such a great time that I decided to chair the committee last year and again for 2017.  If you are new to CGOA conferencing, make sure to sign up for the Buddy Program during registration and I’ll pair you with a seasoned conference-goer/mentor and some other newbies to hang out with who will make your conference experience all the more enjoyable.  This year’s Chain Link conference will be held in the Chicago area at the Westin Chicago Northwest, Itasca, IL - July 26-29.  Book your hotel room now (Crochet Guild 2017 room block rate) and go to crochet.org for more conference info.  I hope to meet you there! 










Do you belong to a local CGOA chapter in your area? 
Hard to believe but there was not an Atlanta CGOA chapter when I founded The Happy Hookers in June of 2016.  We meet every 2 weeks and have over 50 members now on the Facebook group page.  We have an on-going chemo caps & hats drive for cancer patients, visited an alpaca farm, and spent a crochet retreat weekend in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.  If you live in the Atlanta area and would like to join a chapter, we’d love to have you!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/thehappyhookersatlantacrochet/ 











What are your crochet goals for the future? 
My goals simply are to do all that I can for the members of CGOA while serving on the Board & guiding my chapter, to advance my crochet skills, and to share my love of crochet with all who will listen - from teaching beginners to crocheting in public!  

Any crochet tips that you would like to share?   
1. For crocheting in the round, learn the Magic (adjustable) Ring and use it instead of joining a chain to create a circle unless you want a center hole. 

2. When crocheting a simple back and forth project (scarf, blanket), eliminate using the awkward chain 2, 3, or 4 and skipping stitches to start the next row - just chain 1, turn, and work the next stitch in the first stitch (this works well with dc, hdc, and tr stitches).   

3. Instead of joining a new strand of yarn with a slip stitch and chain, use a “standing” or “air” stitch join.  






Do you have any other favorite past times, interests, sports, or crafts you enjoy doing?   
Hoarding cats.  Just kidding - I only have 4 cats..! 







Anything you would like to share, not covered above?
I feel very lucky to have crochet in my life.  I’m pretty sure my family doesn’t feel that way though!   






Thanks for asking me to participate!



Thank you for sharing with us Swaantje, it's been fun "getting to know you"!
Become a CGOA member today, click HERE to join.
Have a great day!
Carolyn

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Brought to you by blogger contributor:
Carolyn Calderon
If you would like to be a featured member, please contact her HERE.



Book Review - Every Which Way Crochet Borders

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Title: Every Which Way Crochet Borders
Author: Edie Eckman
MSRP: $18.95 USD (Spiral bound) / $9.95 USD (Kindle)

Book review by Pia Thadani - Stitches'N'Scraps


You've found today's stop on the Crochet Borders Blog Tour! Be sure to check out some of the other reviews too.



This is Edie's 2nd book of border designs (you can find her first book here), and it's so inspiring to flip through! There are 139 stunning borders to spark your imagination. I'm a sucker for borders and edgings because the right one can really take a project to the next level. These aren't just for your crochet projects either - they can be used with knitting and fabric as well!


The book is available in two formats - spiral bound or Kindle edition. I love digital versions of books, because that way I don't feel guilty about crowding my limited bookshelf space. For a physical book, spiral bound is a great format for this kind of book, because the pages lie completely flat.

I found the organization of this book somewhat unique. It was almost 2 books in one. For the first 30 pages, it reads like a book about borders, not just a book of border patterns. This section is exceptionally well written, with a flow that encourages you to read it from start to finish rather than treating it as disparate reference entries. It explores choosing the right border, colors, and yarns to suit your project, as well as customizing your border. This is followed by tips for executing your chosen border successfully on a variety of different surfaces.



All this information helps a lot in choosing a border, which is good because there are so many beautiful borders to choose from! Simple to complex, subtle to show-stopping, chunky, lacy, fringy - you'll find them all here. There's a border directory at the back that's also quite helpful in choosing.


I can't wait to try some of these - how about you? Enter to win your own copy of Every Which Way Crochet Borders! This prize is generously provided by the publisher, Storey Publishing. To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age or older, with a valid, US shipping address. The winner will be contacted by email, and must reply to that email and provide the shipping address within 1 week in order to receive the prize. If the winner does not reply within 1 week, a new winner will be selected.

The giveaway ends on March 10th. Hurry and enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: A free review copy of Every Which Way Crochet Borders was provided by Storey Publishing. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. All images of copyrighted material are used with permission.
 
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