Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Delicate Crochet-New book from Sharon Hernes Silverman

A Special Book Review

When I was asked to contribute to Sharon Hernes Silverman's newsest book, Delicate Crochet, I was so honored.  I have never been part of a compilation book before.  You an imagine how exciting it was to be in a book with Vashti Braha, Kristin Omdahl, Robyn Chachula and several other very talented designers. 
Delicate Crochet is available on Amazon.

I love this skirt by Vicki Chan.  I have always wanted to make a skirt, this may be the one. 

The thing about this book is that the designs are from Easy to Experienced.  This allows for a quick project, a new to you technique or a challenge.  Sharon did a beautiful job editing, with clear pictures, charts and instruction any level of crocheter can complete these projects. 

The Yveline Wrap above is another favorite of mine, designed by Vashti Braha in her Lotus yarn line. This wrap is also Tunisian, I really like that Sharon mixed Tunisian designs in with standard crochet designs. 


The cardigan here is my design, "Flirt".  I really enjoyed how this yarn seems to be perfect for this light and delicate sweater, with it's  halo effect and sequins it can be casual or dressed up over a cute dress. This is all Tunisian and designed in 4 sizes.  The yarn is Universal Yarn Classic Shades Sequin Lite in Lucky Rose.

The Sea and Shells Poncho is my second design in the book.  Again, it is Tunisian, this poncho is a great way to learn or practice mixing Tunisian Lace with a standard Tunisian stitch.  I live in Florida and look forward to wearing this in the cool early winter and early spring here. It will also travel with me too. One size fits most and is a great design to keep with you just in case.... the yarn? Premier Cotton Fair.

Sharon has gathered up great designers and produced 23 designs in a gorgeous diverse crochet book.  Again, the pictures and directions are very clear.  All patterns have crochet charts to make understanding easy.  The actual photographs were taken by photographer Daniel Shanken who did an amazing and artistic view of the designs.

I have a copy to giveaway to one very lucky crocheter.
enter below.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Coastal Crochet Book Review and Giveaway

My review of Karen Whooley's newest book

Coastal Crochet

I totally see the West Coast in Coastal Crochet. Storm, the cover tank top evokes the storms that come in to the Pacific Northwest. Coastline and Beachcomber remind me of the greens of the trees on the cliffs, moss, ferns and Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach OR. 

Let me just say that I am an east coast girl, a shore girl, but I have lived on the west coast for many years before landing back east in Florida.
Karen gave me a PDF copy of Coastal Crochet for review purposes, I still purchased my very own book (books purchased from Karen come with a download code too). I never have to think twice about buying one of Karen's books. They are clear, easy to understand with written patterns, charts and schematics.  The photographs give you a clear picture of the design. I am giving away one PDF of Coastal Crochet. Enter at the end of this post. 

When I saw the cover design, Storm, I knew I had to make it, living here in Florida I chose Skacel CoBaSi purchased at Jimmy Beans  Wool which is a Cotton, Bamboo and Silk blend. 

Here is the front so far...

Karen chose Lace weight or Fingering weight for all of the designs here.  You can feel  the cozy in Beachcomber, above or Coastline, below. A Lace weight Waffle stitch perfect for those cool days and nights on the rugged beaches of the northern pacific coast. 

Coastline, above, is a Swancho, a cross between sweater and  poncho, love it. 

           Deep Blue Sea, above, clearly is the pacific ocean from up on the cliffs. This is an open airy shawl perfect for dinners while on vacation.       


Ah, now this picture above is Shoreline.  What I see is driftwood. All the shades of grey. I love the shape of this shawl and the changes in stitches to give a visual of ruggedness. I think the first time I saw the ruggedness of the Pacific was on the beach in Tofino British Columbia. It was so dramatic and different from the Jersey Shore. Darker sand, lots of driftwood, cloudy skies and white caps. See it in this shawl? 

These are pictures of beaches on Puget Sound in WA when I lived on the Hood Canal. 

In Coastal Crochet Karen discusses the importance of gauge and the possibility of substituting a heavier yarn, honestly, I love her choices and wouldn't want to lose the softness or drape of these designs. If you have never taken one of Karen's classes you can tell from her books she is a great teacher of crochet. 

Karen self publishes her books and has a fantastic group of talent for photography, layout and technical editing. The thing I love about the actual book is the front index of designs with a picture for quickly finding the design you're looking for. The size and weight of the book are perfect for in your project bag too. 

I'm sure by now you would love a copy of your own. Don't forget to enter below. The winner will be chosen Sunday October 7th. 


Ok, the picture above is a Florida beach.....but see how different it is? 

Here is Karen Whooley. Her website has all  the info you need to see her patterns and purchase her books. 


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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

My Day at the Lion Brand Outlet

I was recently in NJ and NY for family business.  As always I find a way to visit a yarn store, this trip was visiting two biggies.  I was heading to Newark airport from Westchester County NY and thought I would Google Map directions to the Lion Brand Outlet.  This has been on my list every time I go north from FL, I never seem to make it.  When I saw the directions were basically right off Route 46 I knew it was an easy stop before the airport.  (Route 46 from Westchester, yeah, I take the Palisades through Fort Lee to Turnpike).  Anyway...

I found my way through to the back of a light industrial area of warehouses, lots of trucks and see the Outlet along with the Corporate offices of Lion Brand.  I was greeted by Sandy, the gal who runs the shop.  I asked if Jack or Shira were in the offices next door. She checked for me and Jack Blumenthal came over personally to say hello and give me a tour.  I have met Jack previously at CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) meetings. The first thing you notice are the HUGE displays mostly crocheted. These are previous window displays from the Lion Brand Studio in NYC.  Another must if you're in the area of Chelsea/Soho. 

Notice the snake above, it took days to stuff him.

Notice the gift boxes wrapped in crochet paper. Lion Brand sells this gift wrap paper. 

After Jack took me through the family history of Lion Brand, currently in their 5th generation, we went into the lounge/classroom.  A great open space to sit, crochet and chat with others.  Sandy was in the middle of organizing 120 framed photographs of celebrities knitting and crocheting over the years.  

Ahhh... the aisles and aisles. At the Lion Brand Outlet they do sell regular priced yarns as well. Not all of the yarns but the newest ones and the whole LB Collection.  They also have for sale the sample garments that were made for their ads. 

The outlet deals are great prices on packages of 3. Discontinued yarn lines, like Modern Baby :( and discontinued colors of existing lines are here.  You can see in the picture the sides of the aisle is chalkboard with the yarn name and price listed. 

There is much more here to shop for too, like accessories, hooks, magazines....

Ok... so I did come a little prepared, I bought a rolling duffel bag at a thrift shop just in case...

So some of my new stash is enough Modern Baby in Grey and Black to make myself a summer top, tank? T?  
I will be playing with a new LB Collection yarn Soft Spoken, I fell in love with the colors of this yarn.  Also, the NEW Feels Like Butta, and it does. (when I saw the title I was brought back to a NYNJ deli getting a bagel with butta (my native language)... It is unbelievably soft, perfect for baby blankets and sweaters or adult sweaters and cowls.  Having it against your skin is heavenly. 

 For more specials, reviews and travel stories sign up for the       I Hook Design Newsletter at the top right of this page. 

Thanks for coming along. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Almost Spring Mitts are NOW Available

I'm happy to announce the Almost Spring Mitts pattern that was part of the CGOA Mega CAL is now available to non CGOA members (and members who may have missed the CGOA promotion).

The yarn I used is Zauberball Sock from Skacel available here. The yardage is generous enough to make 2 pair of the mitts.

I love these color because they scream SPRING to me.  I know in parts of the country winter will not stay away, these mitts might be the way to bring spring to the end of cold winter. They work up fast in an interesting textured stitch. 

You can purchase them at an introductory price.

If you would like more specials like this when new patterns become available, sign up for my I Hook Design Newsletter at the top right of this page.