Monday
Apr252016

Book Review: Continuous Crochet by Kristin Omdahl

Continuous Crochet by Kristin Omdahl

Interweave Store $22.99

 

As you would expect from a veteran crochet designer, this book by Kristin Omdahl delivers beautiful, stylish designs! The sub-title reads:  “Create seamless sweaters, shrugs, shall, and more with MINIMAL FINISHING!” If you are a crocheter like me, you will totally appreciate the words “seamless” and “minimal finishing” in that last sentence. While my crochet hook and I are forever friends, the sewing needle and I are not.  

 Alfresco by the Lake Belted Cape, p. 46

Most of these designs are very approachable for any crocheter who knows the basic foundational stitches. As long as you are careful to check your gauge, you should have no trouble reading these patterns, especially with the lovely stitch diagrams provided for every project.

 Heather Plum Chain Flower Hat, p. 10

Some designs incorporate new stitches, such as the Ramblin’ Rose Hairpin Lace Shawl (p. 76). The directions for working this stitch are not detailed, but finding a video on Youtube is only a few clicks away if you are like me and need the visual help for this stitch. You will need a hairpin lace loom set, but I think this shawl is worth the effort.

Ramblin' Rose Hairpin Lace Shawl, p. 76

 

I just love the beautiful photography that we have come to expect from Interweave publications. This book also provides numerous views of each design, which is always a plus.

Enchanted Diamonds Textured & Picot Mesh Scarf, p. 30

As with any published work, I am drawn to many of the designs, but not all, and I think this is normal for any crochet book that I have ever purchased. Even if I am drawn to only a few designs (although I enjoy most in this book), I still see this as an excellent investment considering the cost of buying single patterns. 

Sorrento Sunset Starburst Shawl, p. 62

Some of my favorites include the Enchanted Diamonds Textured & Picot Mesh Scarf (p. 31), African Violets Raglan Capelet (p. 52), Sausalito Sparkle Offset Lace Shawl (p. 58), and Geisha Fan Petal Stitch Shrug (p. 108). I especially like Kristin's new take on a the traditional ripple design in her Sorrento Sunset Starburst Shawl (p. 62).

African Violets Raglan Capelet (p. 52)

 

Sausalito Sparkle Offset Lace Shawl, p. 58

My favorite design in this book is the Isle of Capri Motif Pullover (p. 94)!  I love everything about this summer sweater:  the modest, feminine design, the choice of a natural, breathable fiber, the crochet motif, and of course the lovely teal color!

 Isle of Capri Motif Pullover (p. 94)


 

To learn more about Kristin Omdahl and her lovely designs, check out her website here. Continuous Crochet can be purchased from the Interweave Store as well as from Amazon.

This week (April 25 - 29, 2016), I will be giving away a copy of Continuous Crochet (courtesy of Interweave) to one of my BonnieBayCrochet Newsletter subscribers! If you have not signed up for this monthly newsletter, you can sign up HERE (at bottom of page) and you will be automatically entered. (I promise NEVER to sell your e-mail addresses for any other purpose, PERIOD.) The winner will be announced this Friday on my Facebook page, as well as contacted directly via e-mail.

 

Wednesday
Apr132016

New Catrina Cabled Wrap! (FREE Pattern)

I'm so very excited to share this new FREE pattern, courtesy of Cascade Yarns! This pattern features a new way to crochet a larger wheat cable, and combines it alongside a texturized fabric.

Catrina can be worn as a wrap, a wrap around poncho (using a shawl pin or broach), or even as an oversized, thick scarf!

Should you need it to be longer than shown, simply add rows (in multiples according to the length of a cable). Using Cascade Yarn's Ecological Wool (bulky weight) yarn and a size L crochet hook, you can wrap this project up in a weekend or less.

As always, should you need additional help with the stitch work, you will find the free instructional videos for the stitches you need on my Bonnie Bay Crochet Youtube channel. If you become a subscriber, you won't miss a stitch! You can find the free pattern here.

Monday
Apr042016

Launch of the Bonnie Bay Crochet Newsletter!

We have just launched the first Bonnie Bay Crochet Newsletter! Why a newsletter?? Well, while I appreciate the social media sites, I desire a way to contact my favorite fiber folks that is unhindered by social media administrators. I've heard many speak of the benefits of communicating via a newsletter, but now I understand all the "whys" much more clearly! I am hoping to offer you special savings on my Ravelry store, as well as my newly opened ETSY store - and yes, I will even be selling finished products for a limited time! I also hope to share the news from the homefront, and anything else I find interesting in the world of crochet & beyond. I might even share some recipes here and there! 

If you are not currently receiving this newsletter and want to be added to the list, check out the link below. Should you ever need to unsubscribe, we understand, and you can easily be taken off the list with the click of a button.

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Thursday
Mar172016

National Crochet Month Blog Tour 2016!

Happy St. Patrick's Day and welcome to my blog as we continue to celebrate National Crochet Month once again!  I want to thank Amy Sheldon and Donna Hulka of Crochetville.com for all their hard work and devotion to all things crochet.  Today I will be celebrating by giving away a couple of my published books to two folks and by sharing a fun song about our love/hate relationship with the proverbial "gauge"!

The first book I will be giving away at random is Contemporary Celtic Crochet. Here is a video that shows some of the designs featured in this book, along with some Irish flavored music...

The second book is a smaller leaflet called Bags and Backpacks, a Leisure Arts publication. Here are some of the designs in this conveniently sized leaflet...


 

 

 

 

 To enter the drawing for either of the books above, all you need to do is send me an e-mail to bonniebay@me.com and say "ENTER ME!"  I will post the winners early tomorrow morning on my Bonnie Bay Crochet Facebook page, as well as contact the winners directly.  You will also be automatically added to my newsletter which I hope to have ready by early April.  I promise to NEVER, EVER use your e-mails for anything else.  Period.  

And as promised, here's a fun fiber song...Blessings to you!

 

Congratulations to the winners of yesterday's drawing:

Wayne R. Zeides - Contemporary Celtic Crochet

Annette Burke, - Bags & Backpacks

All who participated were sent a 50% off coupon for the patterns in my Ravelry Store. 

Thursday
Mar102016

Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet by Brenda Bourg

Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet by Brenda Bourg

Stackpole Books, $21.95

 

I want to sincerely congratulate my fellow crochet designer Brenda Bourg on her excellent new book, Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet!  I love the beautiful photography of her new designs on many levels.  First of all, the photos were shot in Clear Creek History Park in Golden, Colorado. Secondly, the lovely model looks very normal (i.e. not a size “2” or malnourished!). I like “normal,” realistic models because they best represent who we are, and what the crocheted garment might look like on us! Thirdly, the close up photos give us all the details we need to know to check our work as we crochet these designs.

 Adanna Boot Cuffs, pg. 26

 

Reena Headband, pg. 42

The designs in this book are oh so very lovely and practical.  They include boot cuffs, headbands, cowls, mitts, sweaters and afghans!  Most of these are beginner level projects and can be worked up in a weekend or less. The sweaters are definitely a bit more advanced, but not at all intimidating with the clear instructions.  And if you have never used this technique before, don’t worry - there is a stitch guide at the beginning of the book with very clear step-by-step photos to help you.

Jelena Cowl, pg. 62

 

Ivana Mitts, p. 66

Since Tunisian crochet is a lot more like knitting, Brenda included detailed instructions on how to block your work. This type of fabric does tend to curl a lot, so blocking is very much a necessity. You will want to pay attention to the method for the type of fiber you are using so as not to hurt or damage your work. Here is my “Emily Headband” while it was being blocked…

 

 

This was my first attempt at Tunisian crochet, and I was happy with my success! I did learn a few things in the process, and I will pass this along to you now. I started with a 14” metal Tunisian crochet hook, mostly because I had inherited it from a friend and it was available. 


14" Tunisian metal crochet hook...

I did complete my first piece using this, but I can’t recommend it to you.  I found it heavy and difficult to use. My stitches could easily fall off the end, and balancing all the yarn and weight of the hook even hurt my hand and felt very different from my smaller, shorter hooks. This caused me to follow Brenda’s advice and purchase smaller hooks with cables attached to them (see photo below).

Tunisian crochet hook with attached cable (hook made of bamboo)...

These shorter hooks with a cable attached are so much lighter and easier to use! If you are considering Tunisian crochet, it is worth investing in these, and there are many options for purchasing them on-line.

Emma Afghan, pg. 90 


Annabel Bag, pg. 38 

You can purchase Brenda’s book from Amazon here.  You can also check out her website at http://brendabourg.blogspot.com.  You can also check out her Ravelry page here.  

Today, March 10, 2016, I will be giving away a copy of Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet! To enter, simply send me an e-mail to bonniebay@me.com and say "ENTER ME!" I will announce the winner on my Bonnie Bay Crochet Facebook page tomorrow. I will contact you directly if you are the winner. Also, all entries will be automatically signed up for my newsletter that will be starting next month. (If you don't want to receive this free publication, just let me know in your entry e-mail.)