Monday
Aug072017

Book Review: Modern Tapestry Crochet, by Alessandra Hayden

 

I can honestly say that Modern Tapestry Crochet, by Alessandra Hayden ($22.99), is one of the most original crochet books I have had the pleasure to review! Modern Tapestry Crochet presents some very beautiful and creative color work in crochet and the best part is that each pattern is VERY approachable to any crocheter who can crochet single crochets evenly.  That's a win-win for beginners and seasoned crocheters alike!


The directions for how to crochet across, working only in the back loop for the stunning effects of these designs, is clearly explained in easy to read diagrams.


If you aren't a fan of hiding all those loose strands from the color changes, no problem!  These easily convert to beautiful fringe on several of the projects.


An additional perk is the stunning photography that we have all come to expect from Interweave. This book has a wonderful southwestern flavor that makes you feel as if you are really there.


Hayden's book has something for everyone on your list: cowls, hats, scarfs, headbands, mitts, bags, shawls, throws, and even footies!


The more challenging thing about Modern Tapestry Crochet is deciding which project to crochet first.


Many of the projects are small enough to complete with leftovers from your stash, such as the mitts or headband. That would be a quick and easy way to give this technique a try! I am giving one copy away today (Monday, August 7th, 2017). If you would like to enter, just send me at e-mail to bonniebay@me.com and say "ENTER ME!" The winner will be announced tomorrow morning (Tuesday, August 8th).

Thursday
Jul062017

BOOK REVIEW: Classic Crochet Shawls, from the editors at Interweave

 

Classic Crochet Shawls, from the editors at Interweave, $22.99 

This new book by Interweave is a compilation of 20 lovely shawls by many top crochet designers, including Kathryn White, Sara Kay Hartmann, Beth Nielsen, MaryJane Hall, Kristin Omdahl and Karen Whooley, just to name a few.  You may have already seen some of these designs in previous books or perhaps in Interweave Magazine.

Page 102: Torchlight Shawl, by Jennifer Raymond) 

As the time for my son’s wedding approaches, this book came in a timely manner to help me decided just what to make to wear with my dress for this wonderful day!

Page 84: Orchid Faroese Shawl, by Kristin Omdahl 

Most of these designs are very approachable, and an easy to read stitch diagram is included to help you understand visually how the stitches are related.

Page 42: Tres Chic Neck Warmer, by MaryJane Hall 

As you would expect from Interweave, the photography in this book is stunning!  Even if you don’t crochet, this would be a lovely table book for anyone to enjoy!

Page 76: Dover, by Sara Kay Hartmann 

The designs use a variety of yarns from lace weight, fingering, sport to chunky, but most designs in this book use the thinner yarns. If these lighter weight yarns are new to you, I encourage you to jump in and give them a try. They often provide a lovely drape and feel, especially if using natural fibers.

Page 6: Eolande, by Kathryn White 

As I was studying this book, trying to do the impossible by picking my favorite design, I settled on a few that stood out above the rest (of course, according to my personal preferences).  These were Eolande (p. 6), and Emergence (p. 16) by my friend Kathryn White. Kathryn is the master of using thread to create beautiful, wearable crocheted garments. I especially love the added beads which add beauty and weight to both of her designs.

Page 16: Emergence, by Kathryn White 

Flying Broomstick Lace Shawl, by Brenda K.B. Andersen is also on my favorites list. I just love the way she combined the gentle clusters of stitches and broomstick. Of course the emerald green color is stunning! What do you think?

Page 54: Flying Broomstick Lace Shawl, by Brenda K.B. Andersen 

I will be giving a free copy of Classic Crochet Shawls at random (drawing on Saturday, July 8, EST). To be entered, please send me an e-mail and simply say, “ENTER ME!” and your name will be included in the drawing. I will announce the winner on my Bonnie Bay Crochet Facebook page as well as contact directly by e-mail. I wish you all the very best!

Friday
Apr072017

A Garden of Shawls, by Karen Whooley

 

I am so happy to introduce Karen's new book to you:  A Garden of Shawls! This is Karen Whooley's first indy-published book under "Occhi Blu Press", and is filled with delightful shawls to crochet. 

 

Like this beautiful shawl named "Breeze," all of these designs are very approachable for all crocheters, even for beginners! Karen also includes very clear stitch diagrams to hellp you through edgings as pictured above, so there is no doubt as to where to crochet your next stitch. I also like the clear and easy to read print of the directions.

 

The names of these designs, including the above "Enchantment" shawl, were inspired by Karen's love of Italian lace, as well as the simple pleasure of walking in a garden. How fitting for the photography to reflect just that!

 

 

Of course you can't have a garden without the sun, hence "Solar" shawl...

 

As I peruse this book, I am so thankful for the picture style table of contents at the front which makes finding the designs so quick and easy!  This shawl is called "Briar," which isn't prickly at all, especially when worked using an elegant lace-weight yarn. 

 

Foliole, crocheted in an early spring green, has a lovely leaf-like texture, and a beautiful edging...

 

 

One thing I absolutely LOVE about most of these shawls, is that they can also be worn as scarves! The scarf/shawl above is called "Incipient."

 

I really love the look of "Ecliptic", and find my self hard-pressed to pick out my favorite design from this book, especially since they all have such unique features.

 

But since I enjoy adventure with my crochet hook, I think I will start with "Palisade". Just the name alone reminds me of my family travels in Rome, plus I would be learning a new crochet technique with the fence-like edging.

There are 4 more beautiful shawl designs in this book to enjoy. You can purchase a copy of Karen's book from Amazon here. It is available as a book or as an e-book.

I will be giving one e-book copy away (courtesy of Karen Whooley)! To be entered, just send an e-mail to bonniebay@me.com and simply say "ENTER ME!"  I will post the winner of this e-book tomorrow, April 8th. 

Tuesday
Mar282017

Introducing: TEXTURED SUPER SCARVES!

I'm so happy to introduce this new little leaflet of 4 new Textured Super Scarves! This will soon be available from Leisure Arts for only $3.99! You can also preorder this from Amazon here. These were so easy and fun to design and crochet, and I think you will find them easy too. 


Cascading Lace has three-dimensional texture trimmed with traditional, lacy pineapples. Wear it out while on the town, or as a casual elegance with jeans. Either way you will look lovely!

 

This super scarf in shades of brown was inspired by a dear crocheter friend who had made one of my poncho designs using these colors.  I was so struck by this combination that I had to give it a try in a super scarf! This texture is so easy and the pattern moves along very quickly!


 

This self-striping yarn was the inspiration for this scarf.  The long repeats makes this scarf look as if you changed the yarn for each row, but don't worry - you won't have to do that at all with the Puzzle Yarn by Premier.  This scarf also crochets up very quickly, and the bobbles are fun to make!

 

 

 

This is the most challenging pattern in the leaflet, but also my favorite! I originally designed the raised maple leaf motif for a charity blanket for a Canadian friend. The leaf is subtle, but I love the way the Lion Brand Scarfie yarn reminds me of the changing color of the leaf in the fall. I thought often of all you wonderful Canadian neighbors while making this scarf. I hope you will enjoy giving this one a try!

Tuesday
Mar212017

HAVE CROCHET BOOKS...WILL TRAVEL!!


During my family's spring break get together this past week, I have the pleasure of hanging out with the wonderful ladies at the Knit N Purl in Myrtle Beach, SC! For 2 afternoons, I was able to enjoy their 9th anniversary celebration combined with St. Patrick's Day and a Celtic Cable Crochet book signing and stitch demonstration. Here are some photos from this fun time...


Visiting with my friend I met last summer at CGOA, Marie Proudfoot. 

 

As you can see, the shop was really hopping! This was on Friday and many came by to help celebrate the 9th year of the Knit N Purl...

 

This is Ingrid (of Ingrid Knits), but she is also the crochet teacher at this store. I also met her for the first time at last summer's CGOA conference in Charleston, SC. It was a joy to visit her and talk about all things crochet! 

  

Here are the movers and shakers who work hard to make Knit N Purl a great store! It's not always a given to find a knit store that is friendly to crochet, but this store is welcoming in every way!! I can't recommend it enough!

If you would like to host yours truly for a book signing and/or a special class & stitch demonstration in your area, or know a store that is interested, please contact me at bonniebay@me.com or through this website under "contact".