Thursday, November 08, 2012

Art of Crochet, Book Review, Giveaway

I have been a knitter for a long time, and in recent years, a very devoted one. My mom taught me to knit when I was a small child. Around the same time, she taught me to crochet, embroider, finger weave to make cup holders, and assorted other handy crafts. In those days crochet meant steel hooks with thin white cotton thread, to make anything from doilies to table clothes. Most of the time it was fillet crochet. I have this vivid memory of an older girl (probably high school) leaning on the door frame, chatting with her girlfriend, fingers flying away, and the finished part of the table cloth tucked under her arm. The shiny hook and white thread was a blur.

When I was about six, my mom had some friends over. Her friend's daughter was a wimpy toddler, cried all the time, but since I was older I had the task of entertaining her. When she started screaming again I picked her up, with her back to my chest, carried her and ran to her mother. It was no more than 10 yards, but the little girl screamed and screamed, I couldn't wait to dump her off. Later my mom's friend, through my mom, complained that I scratched the little girls back till it bled. Turned out I had my steel hook in my shirt pocket, with the hook end up.

I rarely touched a crochet hook after that. Knitting needles were much safer.

But my fascination with crochet never stopped. When my blog friend Denise of Voie de Vie's fame asked me to be part of her book review tour, I accepted with great delight. If you are not familiar with Denise's blog, it's choke-full of beautiful photography and wonderful crochet projects.

Denise's new eBook, Accessories: Autumne 2012 is a collection of five patterns, both knit and crochet. As always, the photography is fantastic. You know sometimes you want to buy a book just to look at it? This is one of them. Even if you don't make anything from the book, you want to keep flipping through it, just to look at the pictures.

My favorite pattern in this book is Le Bouquet Stole. I like it so much I'm making it (or rather sort of my version of it), more about that later. The stitch pattern is so pretty, and the shaping is very unique. Enveloped Cowl is adorable and stylish at the same time. It can be a must have piece in your wardrobe that follows you everywhere, day or evening. Rustically Elegant Shoulder Warmer is mouthful of a name, but look at that cute model. I'd make it with less bulk on the neck, but if you have a long neck and thin upper body to pull it off, this would look great and keep you very warm. Slouching Towards Tassels Cap is interestingly shaped, and Denise provides lovely illustrated instruction on how to make tassels that you can use on any project. The Piaf Scarf is the only knitting pattern in the book. I'm not a big fan of heavy scarves, but the stitch pattern for this scarf is very simple and this should make a very easy, very quick holiday gift knitting.

Accessories: Autumne 2012 is available on Ravelry for $14.99. I'm giving away a copy to one of the commenters on this post. Some simple rules for the giveaway:

1. One entry per person. You can leave multiple comments, but they count as one entry.
2. Please leave your Ravelry ID or email address.
3. Entry starts as soon as this post is published and ends Thursday November 15 noon Pacific time.
4. I will post the winner's name in next Friday's entry, and Denise will send out the eBook to the winner directly.
5. Only comments on this blog entry counts, so if you commented on my Facebook page or Ravelry posts, please comment here as well. The only exception is for my friends in China who may not be able to access Blogger, in which case I will accept Ravelry comments.

Now my project.

Project: Le Bouquet Stole 紫藤花
PatternLe Bouquet Stole, designed by Denise, published in Accessories: Autumne 2012
Yarn: Newton's Yarn Country Cashmere Merino (DK weight)
Yardage: 1280 yards in stash
Hook: Size G
Cast on: November 1, 2012
Notes: I had a lot of trouble understanding the stitch pattern since I'm not used to reading crochet instructions. I played with different combinations of twists, and in the end decided to only use the stitch pattern in the set up row (roughly). So far it looks ok, and I'm sure if I just keep at it long enough it will become a scarf. The yarn is a little brighter in real life, a very pretty lavender. the Chinese name, 紫藤花 means wisteria.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment! 


WonderWhyGal said...

Your stole is looking great! I am working on the scarf. I really need to understand crochet terms because I adore Denise's patterns.

AllyB said...

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Nice information on Denise's book. It made me sad that you had that experience with that little girl. I don't understand why adults give over their responsibilities to children so easily sometimes. Thankfully you discovered your love of knitting because of it though.

Nichole said...

The stole is beautiful! One of these days, I must learn to crochet...

Carol said...

This is turning out beautifully - can't wait to see the finished project! Also, love the color.

Word Lily said...

Your stole looks great! (I'm WordLily on Rav.)

Pumpkin said...

I would have been very turned off of crochet too if something like that had happened with me. I'm so glad that you are taking the challenge and giving it another try. This is going to be a gorgeous project!

Kathryn Ray said...

Very pretty... I love Wisteria. :-) And you are so right, her photos are always just beautiful.

You can leave me out of the draw, as I already have a copy of Denise's Fabulous book. :-D

SaRi said...

Thank you to you and Denise for your generosity. Your stole looks great and I have always loved Wisteria, too. Love the colour, plant and name.

My Ravelry name is SaRi.

Leslie said...

As I'm just learning to crochet, I love seeing these patterns! Wisteria's beautiful.

(lafileuse on Rav)

Connie K. said...

Lovely stole! Thanks so much for the chance to win this book, I am always looking for patterns for gifts and this looks perfect!

greyowl60 at yahoo dot com