Book Review & Giveaway: Tunisian Crochet for Baby

indexBook: Tunisian Crochet for Baby
Author: Sharon Silverman
Publisher: Stackpole Books

Recently I had the chance to check out a reviewer’s copy of Tunisian Crochet for Baby by Sharon Silverman.

What’s my favorite thing about this book? Tunisian stitch diagrams! I’m a huge fan of crochet diagrams in general, and I’m psyched that this book takes the time to chart out the Tunisian patterns too!

My favorite project is the Checkerboard Blanket. I can easily envision a larger version of that in my living room.

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

You can learn Tunisian entrelac with the Harlequin Blanket, and make the cutest little Thumbless Mittens. Check out pictures of all the patterns on the online look book.

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

If your Tunisian skills are a little rusty, don’t worry. The book has great, step-by-step photos for the stitches that are used.

Thanks to Stackpole Books, you have a chance to win your own copy of Tunisian Crochet for Baby. Just leave a comment here by Monday, September 22nd (11:59pm EDT) telling me what you like about Tunisian crochet. Open to US residents only.

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New Crochet Video Tutorial: Back Bump Single Crochet

One of my favorite variations on the standard single crochet stitch is the back bump single crochet. Yesterday, I sat down and recorded a video to show you how to do this stitch.

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Discovering Purls

I’ve been doing some digging around online to look at different methods of making a purl stitch.

First is the Continental Purl ….


Then I discovered the Russian Purl…

Finally, I spotted the Norwegian Purl…

So far, my favorite is the Russian Purl, but it orients the stitches in the opposite direction of what I’m used to. I’m definitely going to keep doing some more playing around with methods of purling. Do you have a favorite way to purl?

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Featured Pattern and Sneak Peak at a New One

I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, when I was surprised to see pictures of two of my patterns staring back at me.

The first was the Alex Adorable knit vest. It was featured in the Stitch Sprouts blog post on back to school projects. I really loved making this.  It looks like complicated color work, but through the magic of slip stitches, I only had to use one color on each row.

alex adorable childs knit vest pattern

The second surprise was sneak peak photos of my Chanukah Afghan design for Mainly Crochet. I designed it, and my contract crocheter, Ann, did a great job at stitching.

chanukah afghan

Photos courtesy of Mainly Crochet

chanukah crochet pattern

Photos courtesy of Mainly Crochet

The Chanukah Afghan is in production, so the pattern isn’t available just yet. But in the meantime, you can check out the other neat patterns at Mainly Crochet.

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Book Review and Giveaway: Crochet for Baby All Year

cbaylBook: Crochet for Baby All Year: Easy-to-Make Outfits for Every Month

Author: Tammy Hildebrand
Publisher: Stackpole Books
List Price: $21.95

Get ready for more crochet baby cuteness than you can imagine! That’s what happened when I found my reviewer’s copy of Tammy Hildebrand’s newest book-   Crochet for Baby All Year: Easy-to-Make Outfits for Every Month – in my mail box.

The book is arranged by months, and each chapter includes designs for both a boy and girl in the theme of that month. The projects are designed to work up quickly, and they are super adorable.


Photo courtesy of Stackpole Books

The patterns are written for sizes up to 12 months. You can create a special crocheted outfit for each month of baby’s first year! See all the designs in Crochet for Baby All Year on the PDF Look Book.

Photo courtesy of Stackpole Books

Photo courtesy of Stackpole Books

Ready to get stitching? Thanks to Stackpole Books you have the chance to win a copy of Crochet for Baby All Year. Leave a comment on this post before Friday, August 8th at 11:59 pm, telling me what you love about crocheting for babies. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner.

PS: I just got to see Tammy Hildebrand at the Knit & Crochet Show last week!

Tammy is awesome!

Tammy is awesome!

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Last Thursday at the Knit & Crochet Show, I took a class on tatting* with Susan Lowman. I’m really enjoying this new craft (and new use for all the crochet thread I’ve stockpiled over the years).

It took about 4 class hours for me to learn to tat and complete this butterfly.tatted butterfly

Since then I’ve played around with some motifs from the book, New Tatting: Modern Lace Motifs and Projects , and I’m working on making myself a bookmark.

more fun with tatting

I obviously need practice to get my stitches more even, but I’m having fun along the way :-)

*I spent the whole class sitting next to fellow designer Linda Dean. She and I had a blast, and she was wearing one of her designs that I tech edited.

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Drift Ice Shawl Crochet Pattern – New Photos

Any pattern is a collaborative work between designer and  yarn, but sometimes it goes a bit further. I was flattered when Stephanie of SpaceCadet Yarns asked to borrow the Drift Ice Shawl (made with her Oriana yarn) for a photo shoot. Here’s a sampling of the photos she took. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Adjusted-1161 (Medium) Adjusted-1179 (Medium) IMG_1187

Make this beauty for yourself. Click on the link to get the Drift Ice Shawl crochet pattern.

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The 3 P’s of Learning to Crochet

As I teach people to crochet for the very first time, I’ve found these 3 P’s to be incredibly important:3 ps of learning to crochet

Practice - It may be a cliche, but practice really does make perfect. When you crochet, your two hands have to work together in a way they haven’t before. You have to practice and practice to build the new muscle memories that crocheting requires.

Patience - This goes hand-in-hand with practice. You need the patience to keep practicing. Even if you don’t typically consider yourself to be a patient person, you can still do it. Patience doesn’t mean crocheting for 10 hours at a time. When you want to stop, you can stop. Patience means you pick it back up again. Patience means you hit a snag, and you still give it 5 more minutes. Patience means that, just because it’s not easy, you don’t give up.

Pride - Be proud of what you are accomplishing. I often point out to my students how their stitches are becoming more even, they’re able to maneuver the crochet hook more smoothly than before, and how they’re learning to be able to correct mistakes on their own. People tend to overlook these milestones, but they should be a source of immense pride. You’re learning! You’re getting better! Way to go!

Did you use these 3 P’s when learning to crochet? Have you taught others to crochet?

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Happy 4th of July!

life liberty and the pursuit of yarn

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Crochet Survey for Health

 Kathryn over at Crochet Concupiscence is doing a survey about the health benefits of crochet.  Here’s a little about Kathryn and her survey:
When and how did you learn to crochet?
I first learned to crochet as a child. My mom taught me, along with a diverse range of other crafts and hobbies. It didn’t stick at the time but it was always there in the back of my mind as something that I loved. I resumed the craft again in my late twenties, learning side-by-side with my mom (who had to re-learn since it had been so long) and teaching myself a lot using a children’s “learn to crochet” book.
What started your focus on crochet and health?
I began crocheting again at that time because I was going through a really dark period of depression and was trying to find hobbies that I could enjoy. Crochet really helped me get through that bad time. I began blogging a little bit about my experience of healing through crochet and I started receiving responses from many other people who had healed with crochet. That sparked my interest in learning more. In 2012 I wrote my book, Crochet Saved My Life, which includes my story and the stories of two dozen other women who crocheted to heal from a variety of mental and physical health issues.
What do you hope to be able to accomplish with this survey?
My primary goal with this new survey is to extend the research that already exists so that we can all better understand the ways that crochet heals. This survey focuses specifically on the craft of crochet (whereas most other research has looked at needlework or crafting in general). It explores the broad range of symptoms that crochet relieves and examines the extent to which it helps. I publish a number of online and print writings about healing through crochet so I’ll be able to use the results of this study to further assist people in finding ways to craft to heal. More than that, it is my hope that the study will be useful in terms of getting crochet more acceptance as a healing option in settings like hospitals, therapy groups, behavioral health homes and schools.
So what are you waiting for? Hop on over and take the survey.
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