Friday, 24 February 2017

Book Review - Every Which Way Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman, Storey Publishing

If you love to crochet blankets, shawls, scarves or washcloths, then you'll know how important it is to choose the right border for your project.

Edie Eckman's latest reference book will help you to finish off your projects perfectly, with 139 beautifully designed borders.

I have a blanket with a plain border that I can't wait to add a more decorative border to. It was once a long term WIP as it took me a couple of years to make, and I thought it was an FO, but having seen some of the gorgeous borders in Edie's book, I think a more decorative border would finish it off perfectly.

I was invited to take part in a blog tour of this lovely book by Storey Publishing and in return they sent me a copy. All of the views are my own and I was not asked to write anything specific, other than to write a review.

I decided to create a video review - so here goes ............. (just click on the play button and mute the music if you prefer).

I had a play around with a few of the patterns, which were really easy to follow, especially with the charts that are provided in addition to the written instructions. I know that this book will be an essential part of my crochet library and a great "go-to" book. It is written is US terminology, but there is a helpful section for those who use UK terms, including a translation table for US to UK stitches.

You can buy it on amazon here:
Every Which Way Crochet Borders on Amazon

and you can try out a border pattern here:
Bullion Coil Border

Thanks for reading - if you would like to join me on social media, I'm @the_woolnest on Instagram; @thewoolnest on twitter and @thewoolnest on facebook. It would be great to see what you're all up to.

Don't forget to tag me and use the hashtags #makeandbehappy and #knitcrochetcreate - I'll share my favourites.

Happy Crafting #makeandbehappy #knitcrochetcreate
Lynne x

Sunday, 5 February 2017

My 3 favourite yarns from January


I'm sure you'll agree that January whizzed by so quickly. For me it was all about getting quite a lot of knitting and crochet commissions completed and sent off so that I could free up some time to focus on my own designing and web site development.

The thing about being self-employed is that you need to be a 'jack-of-all-trades' - in the main, I'm a designer, technical editor, author, blogger and tutor, but I also need to be: photographer, project manager, agent, accountant, website developer, social media exert, PR expert, computer technician ..... the list could go on and on, not to mention tea maker and general office assistant. This year I'm focussing on a few of these - website development, product development and social media.

I started off in January by joining the #31daychallenge and I set myself a goal to blog everyday for 31 days.

Admittedly I missed a few days, but what's a few days amongst friends? I really enjoyed this challenge and I didn't run out of things to talk about, which surprised me. I think I found it easier to write a quick 10 minute post than a full blog post. I realised that blogging mid-day was much better than last thing at night and that it was a great way to engage and involve others. You can read my diary here and learn a little more about my daily life. I was inspired by Louise Tilbrook to join in, and met a few new 'virtual friends' along the way, including Jeanette Sloan, who has listed other bloggers here who also took part.

Also in January, I decided to log how much yarn I knitted or crocheted with - a grand total of (drumroll........) 1385g. Of this, 525g was 100% wool (made up of British wool and alpaca), and 375g was cotton (I do love working with cotton yarn). Not bad, but I'm aiming to work with more artisan yarns over the coming year, so hopefully you will see a lot more hand-dyed and small-scale production yarns in my blog and social media feed.

My Top Three yarns for January were:  
The Big Scary Bear: 100% British Alpaca, which is incredibly soft and easy to work with for both knitting and crochet.

 New Lanark Wool (Aran): 100% British wool, which I felted into a lovely bag. It's a sturdy yarn that softened beautifully when washed.

And my BaaBaaBrighouse Yan Tan Tethera Club: hand-dyed yarn by Sylvan Tiger Yarns - I really love how this variegated yarn has crocheted up, giving a flecked effect rather than distinct pooling or striping. I love my new shawl design which will be released soon, once I have tested it out with a few yarns and have some samples to photograph.

I'm looking forward to  staying focussed in February - I have a book to tech edit, my final 'Crochet Now' Magazine Column to write, and a small handful of commissions to design and make, which means I have time to continue developing my own products. I'm already working on the second new pattern of my very long list. 

Don't forget that February is the month of Valentine's day and I have a free pattern here for these easy to make and very cute hearts. 

I hope you've had a great January too.
Happy Crafting #makeandbehappy #knitcrochetcreate
Lynne x