Tuesday
May152018

Self-Striping Projects: Accessories for you & your baby!

Coming soon!!! Self-Striping Projects: Accessories for you & your baby! by Bonnie Barker

Published by Leisure Arts, #7336, US $9.99/CAN $11.99

I am so thrilled to share this latest Leisure Arts crochet leaflet with you! Every design is made using self-striping yarn that now comes in a variety of colors and sizes. It was so much fun to make each of these designs because of all the wonderful color. I found my self wanting "just one more row" so I could get to that new color change on the skein!

 

You'll find many practical items to crochet that can be used all year long, like this Cabled Backpack. The pattern even includes directions for an optional lining so you can add a colorful interior to make this even more useful! I've personally used this style of a crocheted backpack for travels many, many times. I love how it allows me to have my hands free, especially when shopping or using my camera to photograph new places.

 

 

You'll also find two new baby blanket patterns: Rainbow Baby Blanket (above) and Sweet Baby Blanket (below). It seems I always have another baby blanket to make for the precious new life being born to my friends in my church, and it gives me so much joy to do this! Both of these blankets crochet up quickly. The Sweet Baby Blanket is also very easy to crochet with the repeated arch shell pattern.

 

 

There is also Cap & Cowl Set, and a Celtic Weave Cowl for the colder months of the year.

 

 

And last, but not least, are two lovely options to chase away the chilly air, whether that be indoor air-conditioning or an early fall. The Shoulder Wrap is fun to wear and can be worn a couple of different ways: with top ribbing up or folded down. It can also become a large cowl!

 

 

The second option of staying warm is a Poncho, which is also one of my favorite things to wear! This poncho is easy to crochet and features the Arrow & Basket Weave stitches.

 

 

Should you ever have need of stitch support, you can always go to my Bonnie Bay Crochet YouTube Channel where I have all of these stitches available for free in both right and left-handed versions to help you in your crochet journey. If you haven't already, please hit that little red "SUBSCRIBE" button on this site so you won't miss anything new that I post each week.

The winners of our recent give-away are Christine Pich and Tina Hauri. Congratulations ladies!

Monday
Apr162018

Book Review: Crochet Loom Blooms, by Haafner Linssen

Crochet Loom Blooms: 30 Fabulous Crochet Flowers & Projects

by Haafner Linssen

Interweave Store $23.99

Crochet Loom Blooms is another Interweave publication that is full of eye candy: page after page of beautiful colors that seem to jump off of the page and delight! 

 

The author, Haafner Linssen, is very dedicated to making sure that the reader is clearly and instructed in the new (yet vintage) technique of making the 30 different flower motifs which are made using various styles of looms and loops. I have not made these types of motifs and incorporated them into crochet, so I found these pages very helpful and clear to follow. Whether you are a crocheter that likes to read instructions, or someone who likes to learn pictorially, you will not be disappointed! The instructions are very precise with many illustrations.


 

 You may want to purchase a couple of the different looms shown throughout this book, or you could learn to make your own with materials you have in your home. You can find these on page 13 in the book, and follow the instructions on page 127 to learn how to create your own loom, and of various sizes.


 

While this technique works well with crochet, you don’t have to know how to crochet to make the loom flowers! If you do wish to learn crochet, there are complete sections in the book dedicated to beginning crochet techniques, as well as another beautifully color illustrated section on the joining methods for these lovely flowers. Another section explains how to read the pattern diagrams that are also included in this book.


 

Towards the back of this book you will find beautiful projects such as a Vintage Potholder, the Floating Flowers Scarf, a Tote Bag, Vinni’s Blanket and more. All incorporate various loom flowers in a fresh and creative way.


 

You can make and use these loom blooms for many other craft projects of your own. Just think of all the fun ways of incorporating these into your crochet designs!


 

I will be giving a copy of Crochet Loom Blooms, courtesy of Interweave Press. To enter, simply send me an e-mail to bonniebay@me.com and say “Enter Me!” I will be announcing the winner on my Bonnie Bay Crochet Facebook page this Friday, April 20, 2018.

Crochet Loom Blooms, by Haafner Linssen, $23.99

Interweave Press

Thursday
Mar152018

National Crochet Month/CGOA Mega CAL: Braided Swirl Scarf/Shawl

 

To continue the celebration of National Crochet Month, I am excited to announce that my newest pattern, the Braided Swirl Scarf is officially available for free to all CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) members! This will be available this week only from the CGOA site



This pattern comes with the added bonus of a complete video tutorial! This link is unlisted (not available to the public) and is included only with the pattern so that you can follow me step-by-step as you crochet.


Not a CGOA member? No problem! Joining is easy and worth every penny. Included in a one year's membership is a subscription to Crochet! Magazine, which comes delivered right to your door and packed with wonderful & new crochet designs and ideas. You also receive discounts at conferences and with some yarn companies. There are also many intangibles such as joining a wonderful community of crocheters who share your passion for crochet! I am so glad I took a chance years ago and attended my first CGOA conference in Greensboro, NC. This coming summer I am thrilled to announce that I will be teaching at the CGOA conference in Portland, Oregon. This organization has helped me to take my crocheting to a whole new level! Please consider attending if at all possible. Like me, you may begin the journey that makes lifetime friends.



This scarf was made using a sock/fingering weight yarn that I got from a local independent yarn dyer in my area. The name of her company is Fairy Tale Knits, and working with her sparkly, beautiful yarn did make me feel like a princess! Her yarn is available from many local yarn stores, and from her on-line yarn club.

 

You may also want to try other sock/fingering weight yarn of your choice. Just be sure that you use the appropriate hook size to give you the desired drape. I typically size my hook up one size from the size recommended on the yarn label to prevent stiff fabric.



This designs can be worn in a couple different ways: as a decorative scarf, or as a shawl over your shoulders. The drape of this yarn enables the garment to move as you move, making it an elegant addition for any occasion, casual or dressy.



After this week, the Braided Swirl Scarf/Shawl will be available for purchase in my Ravelry Store for $4.99.

Tuesday
Feb202018

Book Review: Crochet Kaleidoscope, by Sandra Eng

Book Review: Crochet Kaleidoscope: Shifting Shapes and Shades Across 100 Motifs, by Sandra Eng

Interweave Press: $24.95

 

If you enjoy crocheting with motifs and love color, then Crochet Kaleidoscope is a book you need to check out! From the cover all the way through to the end of the book, every page boast beautiful color that is a feast for the eyes. 

 

The book begins with excellent information on how to pick and combine your colors for your crochet projects. Even if you aren’t a motif/granny square person, the color information is very helpful for other designs. Sandra touches lightly on color theory, and includes some excellent tools & apps in the back of the book to explore this topic even further.


There are many different motif shapes: circles, squares, triangles, hexagons, and flower shape. Each motif is beautifully photographed, and includes a written pattern with helpful notes, as well as a stitch diagram for those who prefer the visuals.

 

Each motif in the book was crocheted using the 54 colors of Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima cotton yarn. I think this helps to give a lot of clear and consistent stitch definition throughout the book.

 

 If you are looking for some fun designs using these motifs, Sandra provides 5 projects in the back of the book which include a rug, a shawl, a pillow, a blanket & a table runner. My favorite is the Solstice Pillow. I just love the way the use of the different hues of these colors combine and dazzle the eyes. I'm so glad this book is now officially a part of my crochet library!

I will be giving away a copy of Crochet Kaleidoscope! To be entered, send me an e-mail at bonniebay@me.com and say "ENTER ME!" I will post the winner on my Bonnie Bay Crochet Facebook page on Friday, Feb. 23rd, 2018.

[I was given a copy of this book to review, but was not compensated monitarily in any way. The opinions expressed in the review are mine.]

Monday
Nov132017

Newly Released: CABLE CROCHET MADE EASY

Cable Crochet Made Easy

by Bonnie Barker

Available from Amazon.com $24.95 

 

I am so very excited to tell you about this project which is near and dear to my heart! I’ve always wanted to write and publish a crochet book that would offer crocheters as much instructional help as possible, and because of the technological world we now live in, I can. In this book, Cable Crochet Made Easy, you will find clear, slightly larger print for the written pattern instructions, PLUS links to complete video instruction for every design! That is over 17 hours of instruction, from start to finish, for both right and left-handers. You can pull up these videos on all your devices (phone, tablet, computer, etc.) where ever you have an internet or cellular connection, making your learning experience very portable.

 

If you have not learned to read crochet patterns, or are not very comfortable reading them, you will still be able to follow along with the videos. It is my hope that you become more comfortable reading and this is easy to do by reading the instructions row by row (or round) with the video. Once you get used to the abbreviations used, you may find that reading crochet patterns is as easy as reading text messages on your phone, or perhaps even easier!

 

I was so blessed to work with some of my favorite (and talented) people in my little world to make this independent publication possible. Instead of picking models that are size 2 or thinner, I was able to convince some of my family and friends (who have never modeled) to work with me. Needless to say, I'm extremely happy with the results!


 

One of the many highlights of the photoshoots was working with my filmmaker son, Caleb Barker while taking photos of Valerie Ennis. Valerie has had to overcome more obstacles in her young life than many of us will face in a lifetime, yet her display of God-given joy outshines most everyone else I know. My faith grows just being around this delightful lady. It is my hope that you will be blessed by her work too!


 

All of the designs in this book are crocheted as one piece and require almost no sewing!  The few designs that require do require seams can be easily stitched together using your crochet hook and the slip stitch. I tried to keep things as simple and flexible (size wise) as possible, yet without compromising the designs in any way.

 

This book introduces new cabling designs that may look complicated at first, but after following along with the video tutorial, I think you will find that they are very approachable! They are created using the crochet stitches you already know. I also used a variety of yarn weights, and brands. Some you already know and love, and others may be new. All represent some of the best yarns I've worked with over the past several years and I want to share them with you.

 

As always, I love to hear from you, whether it is to share a photo of your work, or to ask as question about a design. 

 

Available from Amazon.com $24.95