Friday, March 17, 2017

A Garden of Shawls book review and more!

Disclosure: I was given a PDF copy of Karen Whooley's new book, "A Garden of Shawls" for review purposes.  (I have my personal copy purchased, can't wait to get it).

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic."~~By Adrienne Cook.~~

Welcome to day 17 ~St. Patrick'sDay~ of the Crochetville National Crochet Month Blog Tour.

I have several goodies for you today, let's go..

In the quote above Adrienne Cook is so right, spring is a time of transformation.  Not unlike how we all transform yarn to beautiful things.  I have reviewed Karen Whooley's newest - self published- book A Garden of Shawls.  I usually make a piece from the books I review here, I am planning to make one of the shawls from the book at a later date and have a follow up post for you.

A Garden of Shawls has 12 stunning designs, not to mention beautiful photography.  The designs take basic crochet stitches and transform them, using lace and fingering weight yarns, into creative beautiful pieces you would be proud to wear or give as a gift. 

The first thing that pops out is the table of contents. It is a picture of each shawl. This is such a great way to find the shawl you want to make NOW. I also seem to be drawn to the fonts she chose, they remind me of a time past, romance and a breeze. (I know it's weird, it's what speaks to me, the visual)

Karen is a very popular national crochet instructor.  I have taken several of her classes and you can see in the pages of this book she is a teacher.  Her patterns are clear, the charts are big and easy to follow.  I do like that I don't have to flip around the book to find the information I need for the pattern that I am working on at that moment. Everything you need is there with each pattern.

Now as a teacher of crochet the book clearly explains gauge and yarn substitution.  I love this, you have options.  You will find reading these pages like you are a friend of Karen's.  As a friend and a student of hers I see and hear her on every page.

Solar is my favorite design.  This is the one (maybe, it's hard to choose) I will be making soon. Just look at the rays of the sun in this shawl!  You'll notice that all the titles of the shawls have interesting names and the definition or explanation of the name below the title. I really like knowing where the titles of designs come from, it gives more insight into the designer.  It's as if each shawl and yarn spoke to Karen.

The yarns are lace and fingering weight using wool, silk, linen, mohair and yak. Light, airy and comfortable any time of year in any venue.


This is Briar, every shawl has a unique border.  I love the border on this rectangular shawl, it really adds interest to the piece. 

All purchases of A Garden of Shawls made in the month of March will be entered into a drawing for a kit to make one of the shawls.

 For details and to purchase:
Click here for details for offers and giveaways with purchase of Garden Shawls.

Now I know this will be my go to shawl book in my library and it will be yours too. Click here to go to Karen's website to purchase a copy.  There are a couple options, you can purchase the physical book and receive a code for the e-book too, or purchase e-book only.

I am offering the chance to win an e-book version here.  Follow instructions below for Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As a bonus today through March 22nd, I am offering my Fresh Greens Mittens pattern and Fresh Greens Hat/Cowl for half price in my Ravelry store. No code needed.

Thanks for visiting, see ya soon.

an tsiochain a bheith in eineacht leat (Gaelic) Peace be with you.

        Click these links for direct access.      Fresh Greens Hat         Fresh Greens Mittens   


Fresh_greens_cowl_pic_small2                  Fresh_greens_hat_pic_5_small2

Friday, October 28, 2016

Celtic Cable Crochet: Reviewed


Celtic Cable Crochet is Bonnie Barker's second Celtic Book.  Unbelievably, even more stunning designs.  Disclaimer: this book was given to me by publisher for review.

I love all things Irish especially the cabling worked on so many of these designs.  The designs bring me back to  Ireland in  search of the perfect Aran Sweater.
It truly amazes me how Bonnie has manipulated the front and back post stitch to create these beautiful pieces. 


As I like to do when I review a book, as long as time permits, I make something from the book  to really experience what the buyer will be following and understanding. 

I chose to make the Blue Moon Shawl using Madeline Tosh Light fingering yarn that I bought about 3 years ago just waiting for a design like this.


Please excuse the tails and the fact that I have not blocked it.  I love the way it came out and plan to wear to church now that the weather in FL has cooled.
This book has clear directions, pictures, charts and schematics.  I will say this is a great book for an advanced beginner to take the next step in their crochet commitment.  For the intermediate and advanced, I found the repeat on the Blue Moon Shawl fairly easy.  I must admit you do need to focus even with the repeats, I did frog a couple times, not because of the pattern but because I lost count or didn't pay attention to where  I was in the row.  If you look really, really close, Bonnie will see it, one of my cables is not crossed the way it should. Can I live with it, yes. Many people have seen it and love how the cables pop on the background stitch. Many have asked which stitch it'll  have to get the book to find out.
Bonnie has a great eye for mixing stitches together to bring out the best in the cable.
Visit Bonnie Barker's BONNIEBAY, Ravelry page for more designs and of course Interweave or Amazon to purchase the book.

If you would like to win a copy of Celtic Cable Crochet by Bonnie Barker, and you know you do, follow instructions below.  Good Luck.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway