Tag Archives: andrews mcmeel publishing

Picnic Basket Shawl CAL: The Giveaway!

Picnic Basket Shawl CAL with @ucrafter, free #crochet pattern

Welcome to the Picnic Basket Shawl Crochet-a-Long! If you’re just learning about the CAL, read this post for more details and links to the rest of the crochet-a-long.

Whether you’re just joining in or you’ve been participating in the Picnic Basket Shawl Crochet-a-long since October, I know you’re excited to hear more about the prizes!  The Picnic Basket Shawl CAL has four fantastic sponsors, Buttermilk Cottage, Furls, Malabrigo, and Andrews McMeel Publishgin, who have each put together a great prize package.  This post describes the prizes, explains how you can enter the giveaway.

The Prizes

Buttermilk Cottage is providing a handmade crochet hook case to one winner. You can see her current selection here in the Etsy shop.  Please note that crochet hooks are not included.

A crochet hook case from Buttermilk Cottage. Image used with permission.

A crochet hook case from Buttermilk Cottage. Image used with permission.

Furls has contributed an heirloom wooden crochet hook. You can view their selection here.

Picnic Basket Shawl CAL with @ucrafter, free #crochet pattern

Crochet hooks by Furls. Image used with permission.

Malabrigo has generously contributed two prizes. Each one is for two skeins of Malabrigo Sock, enough to make another Picnic Basket Shawl!

And, finally, you can win the Crochet 2016 Day-to-Day Calendar from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Picnic Basket Shawl CAL with @ucrafter, free #crochet pattern

You can see all the prizes in this short giveaway video!

Now that you’ve seen all these great prizes, you must be wondering what you need to do to enter this giveaway.  Read on for details!

Picnic Basket Shawl CAL Giveaway Rules

To enter the Picnic Basket Shawl giveaway for your chance to win one of these great prizes:

  • Join in the Picnic Basket Shawl Crochet-a-long!  You can participate here in the Underground Crafter group on Ravelry, in the comments on this blog, on the Underground Crafter Facebook page, or by tagging me on Twitter as @ucrafter or G+ as +UndergroundCrafter with hashtag #picnic2015.
  • Photograph your Picnic Basket Shawl project!
  • Share a photograph of your Picnic Basket Shawl project by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, August 31, 2015.  Each completed project counts as one entry in the giveaway.
  • To share your project on Ravelry: Add the project to your notebook with the tag ripplemania.  Share the project  in the Picnic Basket Shawl CAL chat thread.
  • To share your project on Facebook: Share a photo on the Underground Crafter page.  (Remember that if you don’t “like” the page, I won’t be able to tag you on Facebook, so you’ll have to check back to see if you’ve won.)
  • To share your project on this blog: Post a link to a project photo (on your blog, Instagram, Flickr, etc.) in the comments.
  • To share your project on Twitter or G+: Tag @ucrafter or +UndergroundCrafter and include the hashtag #picnic2015 with a link to a photo of your project.
  • This giveaway is open to all crocheters worldwide.
  • By entering the giveaway, you are granting permission for your project photo to be shared on social media and in this blog.
  • On or about September 7, 2015, five winners will be chosen at random and contacted for mailing addresses.  Winners must respond by September 15, 2015 or their prize will be forfeited.
Thanks so much for joining in, and I can’t wait to see the projects!

For the full crochet-a-long schedule, visit the CAL announcement here.

  • Don’t forget to add the Picnic Basket Shawl to your Ravelry favorites!

Add to Ravelry

Chubby Sheep CAL December giveaway winner!

The first month of the Chubby Sheep CAL has come and gone, and some very cute sheep were entered into the December giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Long-Legged Friends: Crochet Creatures to Create and Cuddle by Hisako and Shizue Okawa, courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing (reviewed here), and 5 pairs of assorted safety eyes from my collection (originally from 6060 on Etsy).

The entries are all so cute that I could only pick a winner randomly!

And according to Random.org, the winner is number 10…

harnish408‘s Baa Baa Black Sheep

Congratulations, harnish408, and thank you to everyone else who entered!  The crochet-a-long is still going strong on Ravelry, and we’ve already had an entry for the January giveaway.  Stay tuned for the announcement of our January prize!

Book Review: Long-Legged Friends by Hisako and Shizue Okawa

 This post contains affiliate links.

I recently received a review copy of Long-Legged Friends: Crochet Creatures to Create and Cuddle by Hisako and Shizue Okawa from Andrews McMeel Publishing.  This is a fun, concept book that also turns out some very cute projects.

Shizue, an illustrator, drew adorable little animals, and her mother, Hisako, crocheted them based on the pictures.  As in any true artistic collaboration, Hisako doesn’t simply reproduce Shizue’s drawings in 3D crochet, but alters them based on her own creative vision.  The resulting projects are these whimsical creatures, most of whom are slender with very long legs.

The book opens with a delightful 36-page photo gallery of each project.  (Most are shown in at least two different variations.)  The projects are crocheted in white, black, and browns, which creates a very uniform and artsy look to the book.

The next section includes an overview of materials (most projects use #1 sock/fingering/baby weight yarn and a US size C/2.75 mm crochet hook), a primer on reading the stitch symbol charts used for the patterns, and an illustrated review of the stitches used in this book along with the associated stitch symbol.  Like most amigurumi projects, these are made primarily with single crochet (UK double crochet) stitches.  The authors include some general information about assembly and finishing (e.g., how to attach safety eyes and embroider facial features), and remind the reader that customization is great and it isn’t necessary to exactly follow the patterns.

The last section includes the patterns for 12 creatures (including 5 little versions).  Each pattern includes a materials list, a numbered list of instructions (“Make the Fuzzy Bear”), an illustration with assembly and finishing notes (e.g., “Do not stuff ears”), and charted instructions for crocheting in spirals.  There are also instructions for traveling clothes – a scarf, hat, and bag that can be made to accessorize your creatures.

This is a very fun little book, which beautifully presents a collaboration between two artisans who happen to be mother and daughter.  If you are looking for a book with 20+ patterns of stylized amigurumi with enormous heads and tiny bodies, this is probably not the book for you.  On the other hand, if you like to take inspiration from patterns but modify the projects to suit your whims, or if you think of crochet as an art form and appreciate a book that presents it as such, then this would be a great book.  These projects would also appeal to someone making toys for children, as each project appears immensely huggable, and they are very homey and sweet.  I think this book will actually appeal more to crocheters who aren’t typically attracted to amigurumi books.

Full disclosure: A free electronic review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.