Wednesday
Jun152016

Book Review: 3 Skeins or Less - Modern Baby Crochet

3 Skeins or Less - Modern Baby Crochet $22.99 (On Sale $18.67) Interweave Store


 

Sharon Zientara’s book is anything but your typical baby designs in the traditional pink, blue and yellow! This book has 18 designs by 11 Interweave crochet designers. Several of the designs are very functional, such as the Finley the Fox bib, the Eddy Burp Cloths and the Ava Cloth Diaper Wrap. All are delightfully fun! 

With the exception of one sweater, all the projects are crocheted with yarn that is easy care (such as acrylic, cotton, or a blend) or superwash merino wool. This way it will be so much easier to care for these garments & toys because you know in order for babies to enjoy them, they are going to need to be washed often!

Let me show you…

 I just love this little cutie! Oh, and Octavia the Octopus is cute too! Yes, it is easy to get distracted by the wonderful little models in this book. Seeing how their eyes light up shows you how much joy these crocheted creations can bring into their life!


 

How about a pair of these “Zoe the Cat Slippers?” The only problem I see with them is that my feet are too big for them!


 The Ladybug the Dachshund Sweater is absolutely delightful! It reminds me of the little doggie my grandfather used to have so many years ago. I also like the clever offset design of this sweater.


Finley the Fox Bib, made of 100% cotton should make eating fun for any baby, no matter how picky, and should hold up well to the washings which you know will be needed!


 Spike the Hedgehog Hat looks like it will be almost as much fun to make as it is to wear! I especially love the hair/spikes and the fact that it is made using one of my favorite acrylic yarns:  Lion Brand Heartland. 

I am going to be giving a copy of this book (courtesy of Interweave) on Friday.  If you want to be included in the drawing, just e-mail me at bonniebay@me.com and say “enter me!” and you will be entered.

 

 

Monday
Jun132016

TNNA: The National NeedleArts Association Conference Summer 2016

Wow! What a day! For the first time in years I caught the Metro Red Line this past Saturday to travel downtown to Washington, D.C. to the 2016 TNNA Summer conference. What a blessing to have this so close to my home this year. I had an amazing time greeting old friends and making some new ones. There were hundreds of vendors and beautiful yarn as far as the eye could see! It felt like being a child unrestrained in a toy store with a mile long candy counter. I want to show you some of the highlights...

These have got to be the most beautiful swifts I have ever seen!  They would look beautiful in any room in the house! The photo below shows the company that makes these beauties...


There were many inspirational knit designs...

 

 

You'll be seeing one my new designs using Malabrigo's yarn in the fall in Celtic Cabled Crochet! Lovely, kettle-dyed fiber...

One more view of this eye candy... 

 

I added a couple of these cute tape measures to my collection. Seems I like to wear them out!

I had the BEST time talking to these wonderful ladies! Be looking for a new crochet design using South African Yarns in the near future.

One thing that drew me to their display was they were one of the few companies to feature crochet!

 

These ladies traveled from the UK, represting the Toft Yarn Company and Kerry Lord's crocheted animal kits that are so adorable! (Remember the book Edward's Menagerie?)

 

I LOVED this flamingo buddy! Pink flamingos are the symbol of my hometown of Hialeah, Florida!

 

Watermelon anyone? The hand dyed yarn from Apple Tree Knits looks yummy!

 

Here's what the yarn looks like before being crocheted or knitted...

 

One more wonderful use for Mason jars...

 

I'll be working with a hank of this lady's "Bliss" (80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) yarn, hand-dyed in Sommerville, South Carolina very soon!

I learned so much attending this trade conference, but the best part is meeting the sweet folks who work in the fiber industry. I always come away inspired and almost wishing I had four more hands for all the ideas knocking around in my head!

 


Tuesday
May172016

Book Review: Vintage Modern Crochet by Robyn Chachula

Vintage Modern Crochet by Robyn Chachula

$24.95 (Sale price $18.99)

Interweave has done it again with another beautiful crochet book compiled by Robyn Chachula! This book features many of Interweave's top designers: Shalby Allaho, Brenda K.B. Anderson, Moon Eldridge, Megan Granhols, Cristina Mershon, Kristin Omdahl, Anastasia Popova, Laurinda Reddig, Natasha Robarge, and Rebecca Velasquez.

Field Cardigan by Robyn Chachula, p. 71

As you would expect, this book delivers stunning photography and many views of the 20 stylish projectsit contains.  Every project also has clear stitch diagrams for the crocheter who depends upon these. 

Temperance Jewelry by Robyn Chachula, p. 83 

Vintage Modern Crochet offers just about everything from sweaters to hats, scarfs, headbands and yes, crocheted jewelry! Robyn Chachula's Temperance Jewelry (photo above) can add the pop you need for any outfit. You can also try your hand at crocheting with wire with "Syrah Cuffs". If you are not so adventurous as that, you can just grab any thread you have on hand instead!

Leopold Pullover by Robyn Chachula, p. 45 

Many of these design are crochet lace. The Leopold Pullover (above) features a texturized lace for a lovely summer pullover. I just love the look of the Bromelia Infinity Scarf, made using a sport weight linen/silk blend. 

 Bromelia Infinity Scarf by Moon Eldridge, p. 19

 

 Aine Fascinator and Headband by Brenda K.B. Anderson, p. 97

The Aine Fascinator can be worn as a head piece (as shown above) or simply as a headband. 

 Fleur Swing Top by Megan Granholm, p. 139

I think the Fleur Swing summer top (above) with the asymmetrical button placement in the front is really cute!

 Fidelma Motif Shawl by Cristina Mershon, p. 89

This book has you literally covered when it comes to that special summer shawl you need to ward off the chill whether it is do to a cool morning, or that chilly indoor air conditioning! 

Celtic Cross Wrap by Laurinda Reddig, p. 67 

 

Yasmine Shawl by Rebecca Velasquez, p. 119 

The Yasmine Shawl if for the crocheter looking for a challenge that will take their skills up a notch or two by learning more about Tunisian Lace.

 Guipure Top by Natasha Robarge, p. 103

I have saved my personal two favorite designs in this book for last: the Guipure Top, and the Kidwell Garden Wrap. With summer just around the corner, I have been looking for a crocheted top to wear over tank tops, and this could be it! The Irish crocheted style is elegant and practical for the hot days ahead. This is definitely going on my list! 

Close up of Irish Crochet detail of Guipure Top... 

 

Kidwell Garden Wrap by Shelby Allaho, p.13

I love, love, love the large and open look of this Kidwell Garden Wrap! This design can dress up any casual summer shirt or dress, as well as bring bold color to your outfit. Let's hope this one gets done too!

This Friday, May 20th, I will be giving away a free copy of this book, courtesy of Interweave. To enter, please e-mail me at bonniebay@me.com and simply say, "ENTER ME!" and you will be included in the drawing.  If you are not a subscriber to the Bonnie Bay Crochet Newsletter and would like to be added, just add, "SUBSCRIBE ME TO YOUR NEWSLETTER!" and I will add you to the list. For your information, I will NEVER EVER use your e-mail address for anything else. Period.  

 

Friday
May132016

Cabled Cherub Baby Blanket

I am so happy to share this new crocheted cabled baby blanket pattern with you! Thanks to Cascade Yarns, this pattern can be provided for free. It features the honeycomb stitch, the wheat stitch, the four post cable and trimmed using a picot shell border.

I so loved working with this yarn! Cascade's Cherub DK is 8 ply, 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic (180 yards/50 grams per ball) yarn. There is absolutely nothing stiff or rough about this yarn! It has a very lovey sheen and lots and lots of wonderful drape. You can find out more about this yarn here.

Should you have any trouble with any of these stitches, you can check out my individual videos on the specific stitch, or even better, you can view my free instructional video on this project! I have broken this down into two parts...

Even though this blanket may look complicated at first glance, it really isn't. It is worked in one continuous piece, so there is no sewing required! Once you have a basic understanding of how the cables are formed, you are ready to begin your foundation rows. After that, you simply continue to work these cables until you reach the desired length of your blanket. You can download the pattern here.

Should you crochet one of these blankets, I would love to see it! You can reach me at bonniebay@me.com, or on Facebook at Bonnie Bay Crochet. Happy crocheting!

 

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.