Tag Archives: finger lakes fiber arts festival

FO Friday: Baby legwarmers and Winner: 30 Min-Knits

For the second week in the row, I’ve finished a quick project from stash yarn for my friend AW’s new baby.

This is my version of the Cozy Crawlers Leg Warmers from Linda Permann‘s Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers.  (The pattern is also available as a free download here.)  I used about half a skein of Bitsy Knits Bitsy’s Sock in the Quite a Party colorway.

I bought this yarn at the 2011 Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival.

It's the yarn in the front.

Once I wound it up, I realized it wasn’t going to work for an accessory for me since it was too… lively for my tastes.

I was also a bit worried about pooling.  (If only I had read this post from Le Tissier Designs then — I would have known exactly what to do with this yarn!)  I’m not too stressed by pooling in infant legwarmers, though ;).

I may have time to make another quick project, but I might just mail these out with the booties, a card, and some children’s books.

 

In other news, according to Random.org, the winner of the giveaway for my review copy of 30 Min-Knits: What Can You Knit in Half an Hour or Less? by Carol Meldrum, courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series, is number 5…

Jane!

Congratulations, Jane, and thanks to everyone who entered!  You can read my review of the book here.

 

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis!

Non-yarn haul: Knitty City

Although I’ve been participating in Surmount the Stash all year and have been fairly good about avoiding new yarn purchases, the siren song of my favorite local yarn shop, Knitty City, began calling to me last night.

The start of my yarn craving was receiving an email update about another local yarn shop that is closing because the owner is relocating to Philadelphia.  I was feeling very good about the fact that I deleted the email and didn’t ride up there to start buying yarn I don’t need because “it’s on sale.”

I’ve also been working on some design submissions, and when that happens I often get the craving for a new color or brand of yarn.  I’ve wanted to try Sweet Georgia Yarns for a while now, and they happen to be the yarn of the month at Knitty City, and as such, are 10% off.

And, this weekend I was actually supposed to teach at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival, but when my classes didn’t fill, I decided to stay home rather than take the long trip up to teach a small class.  I’m sure I would have had a lot of fun anyway, since last year was so wonderful, but I needed the rest and saving the money didn’t hurt either.

While all of these things were influential, in truth, like most Americans, I partake in retail therapy from time to time.  (I’ve been working on curbing that, too, after participating in the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge through Frugally Sustainable along with one of my best friends, OB.)  The past month at work have been remarkably taxing, and I’ve been in the office about 60-70 hours a week while also trying to keep up with my various part-time jobs.  Since I had already budgeted for yarn shopping at the Festival, I decided to stop by Knitty City instead.

I did check out the Sweet Georgia yarns, and they were as beautiful as I remembered, but I didn’t immediately have a project in mind so I decided not to buy any yarn.  (I consider this a small victory.)

Then I saw the sign mentioning a 20% of sale on books.  I immediately headed right over to the Japanese book section.  Since those tend to be more expensive and are harder to find in the States, it seemed like the wisest choice.

I fell in love with the top swatch.

Although I have a reasonably sized collection of Japanese crochet and Tunisian crochet books, Knitting Patterns 500 is my very first Japanese knitting book purchase.  I’m not as familiar with knitting stitch symbols, so I look forward to that new challenge.

I also discovered two other books that went onto my wishlist for a future time, 1000 Knitting Patterns Book and 100 Aran Patterns.  I’m really looking forward to decoding the knitting symbol patterns and coming up with some fun designs using this book!

Year of Projects, Year 2: Burst

Yesterday, I had a burst of creative energy and the time to crochet.  I designed a Bruges lace scarf pattern and made the sample.

MC took a picture of me outside this morning.

I don’t usually finish one of my Year of Projects goals on the same day that I start it, so I’m as amazed as you are.  This will ultimately be a Christmas present for my friend, JS.  I made it with this wonderful Bitsy Knits yarn I bought at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last year.

JS and I usually spend time together with another friend, OB.  She’s getting a Bruges lace scarf, too, but one designed by Tatyana Mirer.

By a strange coincidence, I happen to be wearing the same outfit in this photo, taken by MC over a month ago.

It’s nice to have both of their gifts finished so early in the year.

A detail of my Bruges design.

If you are interested in helping me test out this pattern, PM me on Ravelry.  I have a few other things I’m working on right now, so it probably won’t be written up until next week.

(Edited to add: The pattern is now available on Ravelry as Visit to the Kantcentrum.)

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge – Week 14

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

Thanks to everyone who voted last week about which yarn I should choose for my friend JS’s scarf.  And the winner is…

Bitsy Knits Squoosh Superwash in Aquamarine.

I pretty much love this yarn, which I bought at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last year.  (As an aside, if you’ll be in the Hemlock, NY area on Saturday, September 15, I will again be teaching at the festival this year.)

I am on the fence about using the same pattern I used for OB’s scarf (since the three of us celebrate the winter holidays in a group) or just designing a different scarf for JS.  I have two design-related goals for the second Year of Projects, and with time being a premium these days, I might just need to combine my Holiday Stashdown Challenge with my YOP goals.

I haven’t made any other progress on my holiday crafting list since my last post, and I definitely want to finish at least one more project by the end of August.  This Bitsy Knits yarn is so pretty that I’m itching to get started on the scarf.  I just have a few secret projects to finish up first :).

Have you been working towards your holiday crafting goals?  Or were you stalled by the summer heat like me?  Feel free to share your progress on your personal holiday gift making journey in the comments!

The return of the blog…

If you’ve visited my blog in the last few days, you probably noticed that it wasn’t available.  It turns out that I exceeded the storage space on my web hosting plan – not with my blog, but by keeping too many backups of my blog.  D’oh!  Now that I’ve learned my lesson and cleared out some of the backups, it is up and running again.

In other news, I’ll be teaching at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival at the Hemlock Fairgrounds again this year.  I had so much fun last year, and I’m really looking forward to meeting more animals and buying some goodies this year.  (Oh, and to teaching the classes!)  I’ll share more details about the classes after the website is updated to list workshops.

My favorite posts of 2011

On March 27, I wrote an about and welcome post to this blog, and since then I’ve been posting regularly.  I know I was mostly (only?) talking to myself for the first few months, but I’m glad I stuck with it.  Today, I’m sharing my favorite posts of 2011.

Series

 

Interviews

 

Projects

 

Reviews

 

Random

 

Free stuff

 

Thanks so much for reading :).

Happy New Year!

 

Thursday craft goals update: 2011 recap

I love welcoming the New Year.  It isn’t a religious holiday, so I don’t have to worry about offending (or excluding) someone when I say “Happy New Year!” It’s also a great time to reflect on the past and think about the future!

About a month after I started my blog in March, I set myself some craft goals to complete by May 1, 2012.  At the halfway mark, I looked back and made some changes to those goals.  My original inspiration for doing this was Cheryl Marie Knits, since she was in the middle of blogging her way through 365 days of craft goals.

Today, I’m tracking my progress to date.

Personal crafting goals

1) Work my way through Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters.  Instead of using the patterns, I’d like to create my own project (for myself and/or for teaching) for each technique/skill in the book.

This has been, by far, my favorite project to work on.  I delayed the start of this project until July 1 so I could join in on the Year of Projects blog meme.  (If you’re not familiar with the Year of Projects, Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence did a great roundup of everyone’s who is participating here.  It’s never too late to join – the Come Blog-a-long group on Ravelry has more information.)  You can read my original inspiration for choosing this book here and about my meeting with the masters here.

Freeform crochet

My first project was freeform crochet (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4), inspired by the Prudence Mapstone chapter. I made an awesome freeform cat blanket while (loosely) following the Freeform CAL on the Crochet Liberation Front blog.

I also took a great freeform class with Margaret Hubert, the book’s fashion crochet master.

Tunisian crochet

I had a lot of fun with the Tunisian crochet chapter, and even had the opportunity to interview Julia Bryant, the featured master.  For this chapter, I developed a workshop, handout, and ebook with 6 scarf patterns (available for sale on Etsy and Ravelry).  I taught the class at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival and the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival in September.  My other Tunisian crochet posts can be found here and here.  My favorite  scarf is the Tunisian Moss Stitch Scarf Recipe, modeled by my mom’s neck (for privacy and such).  Hard to tell – but trust me, the color complements her eyes.

Woven crochet

My next big project was woven crochet (plaid), and I started with a class with the featured master, Jenny King and continued working on my small tartan project here and here.

Tastes of other chapters

I have flirted with a few other techniques from the book as well…

I dabbled briefly with filet crochet (here, here, and here), but have no finished pictures to share. I swatched up some Bruges crochet.  I might actually make a design using this at some point (but not today!).  I had fun with post stitches but never really tackled Aran crochet.  I’m currently making a single crochet entrelac cat blanket.

I started out posting my updates on Mondays, but I shifted my Year of Projects updates to Sundays since that is when most of the other bloggers participating are posting.

 

 

2) Make something handmade for my mom and sister for the holidays (or their birthdays).  Possible sources of inspiration include Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks or something from my growing collection of vintage crochet books.

My magnum opus for the past six weeks or so has been the double Irish chain granny square blanket I’m making for my sister in New Orleans Saints colors.

My charted progress as of last night. (Gray areas are completed.)

 

I expect to complete it by mid-January, in time for it to get to her for Super Bowl Sunday.

3) Read Knitting from the Top and 4) Create a contemporary interpretation of one of the vintage patterns I have in my collection.

Other than skimming the book to provide a description in my knitting design book roundup, I’ve made no progress on either of these.

 


5) Limit new yarn purchases, increase the ratio of natural to synthetic fibers in my stash, and continue to destash any yarn or notions that I won’t be using in the near future. and 6) Make and donate more charity crochet projects in 2012 than in 2011.

I’m so excited about these two goals.  I’ve joined in on the Surmount the Stash 2012 challenge with Revelations of a Delusional Knitter.  On Monday night, I started making my own grab and go project bags from my stash.  Here’s my bag for the Xavier Beanie by Evelyn at Project: Stash.  I figure this can be a great unisex gift to have on hand, for any occasion.

I knew I saved those Knitty City plastic bags for a reason. (A reason other than an addiction to saving bags, that is.) I have two skeins of the long departed Lion Brand Wool Ease Sport, a printout of the pattern, Size 7 circular needles, and my recently purchased copy of "The Magic Loop: Sarah Hauschka's Magical Unvention" by Bev Galeskas. I took the picture outside to illustrate the "grab and go" concept in all of its glory!

In 2011, I donated six hats, a pair of mittens, and two scarves to Hats 4 the Homeless via the Lion Brand Yarn Studio; several toddler hats, scarves, and mittens along with some soft, acrylic yarn to Knits for Infants; and six scarves for Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi, Inc. (LOWO), a charity I learned about through the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation.

7) Participate (however briefly) in a Ravelry CAL.

While I did look around Ravelry at the various CALs for 2012, I haven’t made a commitment to any yet.

 

 

Professional crafting goals

1) Read Producing Video Podcasts.

I consider this one completed.  I read most of the book, and decided podcasting wasn’t for me.

 

 

2) Create and post at least three videos (tutorials or projects/patterns) on my blog or website.

I made four videos as part of my Crochet 101 CAL.  I need to update my video “studio,” but I will definitely make a few more in 2012.

 

 

3) Publish at least five patterns.

I’m happy to say I exceeded this goal.

A self-portrait in Central Park, wearing the Twisted Crocodile Stitch Keyhole Scarf.

 

 

4) Blog at least twice a week. and 8 ) Figure out how to do super cool stuff on WordPress.

I think I’ve done a pretty good job here, too.  I learned how to embed videos (a bit harder to do on a self-hosted WordPress site) and I’ve been getting better with trackbacks.

I blogged every day in October for Blogtoberfest, and have (so far) posted every day in December.  I even won the 2011 Awesome Crochet Blog Award for Best Interviews from Crochet Concupiscence.

 

 

5) Teach in at least two conferences/festivals.

I met this goal in September, when I taught at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival and the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival.

 

 

6) Read The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design.

I finished this book back in May and wrote the review here.

 

 

7) Write the book proposal that I’ve been thinking about – and send it out.

I’ve actually been working on this all along, but haven’t sent anything out yet.

 


9) Take better photographs, along with all that entails.

This is still a thorn in my side.  I have really relied on public spaces in New York City for outdoor photos.  I haven’t established a permanent indoor photography set up yet.

 

10) Become a CYC Certified Knitting Instructor (Level I-Instructor).

I am officially signed up to attend the Knitting Certification program in February at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  I just received the email with all of the homework on Tuesday, so I have to get started swatching.

 

Did you meet any of your craft goals for 2011?

Thursday craft goals update – Week 21 and KnitCircus giveaway winners!

Since my last installment of my weekly craft goals update (dramatic drum roll, please):

  • I have officially given up on finishing Producing Video Podcasts: A Guide for Media Professionals (professional craft goal #1).  I bought the book online, and frankly, I didn’t notice the “for Media Professionals” part of the title :).  The book is great and very helpful, but way too technical/advanced for the likes of little ole me. I read as much of it as I thought was relevant to a non-media professional, so I think I could consider this goal “accomplished,” even though I will probably never finish the book.  What do you think?

  • My Gorillapod Video Tripod arrived safely, and I have been planning out video segments (professional craft goal #2) for Crochet 101.  (If you missed the initial post about it, I will be offering a free online crochet-a-long class for beginners starting this Saturday!  Crochet 101 will be launching my Crochet Lyceum with Underground Crafter series of online crochet classes/CALs.)
  • I haven’t been very active this week with the blog (professional craft goal #4) because I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work for Crochet 101.  I will have a post tomorrow which explains everything before it kicks off on Saturday!
  • I have about six patterns/booklets in progress for self-publishing (professional craft goal #3).  I have two patterns which are currently being tested, one booklet which is being finalized with pictures, and three more patterns that I will start testing next week.
  • I had a wonderful time teaching at my very first fiber festival, the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival, last weekend.  I’m looking forward to the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival next Friday (professional craft goal #5).  The workshop registration deadline was extended to 9/23 if you plan to attend.

  • And perhaps the biggest news of the week is the work I’ve been doing with WordPress (professional craft goal #9).  I’ve been working on setting up an online forum using BuddyPress.  More details coming soon!
  • Finally, I set up my indoor photo studio (professional crafting goal #10).  I was heavily influenced by this tutorial on Candied Fabrics.  My pictures are not as awesome as Candy’s yet, but they are definitely an improvement over my previous indoor pictures.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

I meant to get this post together in time for WIP Wednesday with Tami’s Amis, but life got in the way.  Full disclosure: My list of entrants was organized thusly: members of my Ravelry group listed alphabetically, then posters on this blog post listed in chronological order, and then Facebook posts listed chronologically.

Now, without further ado…

The first winner of the Fall 2011 KnitCircus PDF Pattern Collection is Stacey, from Fresh Stitches!


And the second winner is drmonica on Ravelry, who recently completed a pattern test for me.

Yay, congratulations to both winners.  I will email your PDF out shortly.

More giveaways…

Don’t despair if you didn’t win!  You still have a chance to enter these two giveaways!

  • My local Etsy team, The {NewNew}, is offering 3 September giveaways, including an in-person knitting lesson with me, or a PDF Tunisian crochet tutorial if you are too far away to meet me in person.  You can enter this giveaway through September 23rd here.
  • I’m giving away a copy of Ami Ami Dogs 2: More Seriously Cute Crochet, courtesy of Harper Design.  You can enter this giveaway through September 26 here.


Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival 2011

(This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class series.  You can find my first three posts on Tunisian crochet here, here, and here.)

On Saturday, I taught Introduction to Tunisian Crochet at my very first fiber conference, the 17th Annual Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival at the Fairgrounds in Hemlock, NY.  I had such a great time at the Festival – even though I couldn’t stay for the whole event :( – and would definitely recommend it to anyone for next year!

My dirty little secret (to those from the rest of the universe that isn’t New York City) is that I can’t drive.  Yes, I took a few weeks of Driver’s Ed in high school but never finished the class.  Thus far, I’ve only lived in cities where driving isn’t required (New York for about 92% of my life, with a year after college in Washington, D.C., and a few years in San Francisco as a pre-schooler).  My lack of driving hasn’t impaired me in my hometown, but it has limited my vacation options and has made me dependent on others when traveling – and, of course, it has kept me living in major urban areas.  (Driving lessons are on my to do/bucket list, by the way.)

Anyway, the person who I was going to be dependent on for this trip :) had to work over the weekend.  So I had a very interesting itinerary as a result.

Here's a blurry phone cam shot of my Friday train ride.

I started out on Friday afternoon on Amtrak to Rochester.  I took a taxi to the hotel in Henrietta, which was, er, um, well let’s just say the price was right and there was free wifi :).  In the morning, I was lucky enough to picked up from the hotel by CR, another teacher on the festival committee.  She’s been working at the festival for the last 8 years, so it was great to hear about her experience with the event during the ride.  We also “talked shop” about teaching for a bit.

This is the building where I taught my class. The class areas were very spacious and we had plenty of room for everyone to spread out.

Since CR dropped me off early, I had a chance to check out the vendors and the animals before preparing for my class.  As a City Gal, seeing the goats, sheep, and alpacas who are responsible for my favorite yarns was a real treat.

Some of the yarn vendors setting up.
How cute is this alpaca?
"Are you talking to me?"
These guys didn't feel like posing. They were too busy munching.
"Look at me, I'm smiling for the camera!"
Miss Molly is a true "Chatty Cathy" but she clearly doesn't want her picture taken. This is the least blurry of the several pictures I snapped of her.
More super cute alpacas.
What do you call the black sheep of the alpaca family?

There were vendors from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania at the event, but it was great to see a local vendor, the Hemlock Hills Alpaca Farm, too.  I especially loved this sign from their booth.

Besides workshops, demonstrations, and vendors, there were also wagon rides at the Festival!

After watching the vendors set up for about 40 minutes, I went back to the 4-H Exhibit Building to set up for my class.  While cleaning off the tables and organizing the chairs into a circle, I was thinking about what I was going to buy :).  I knew that I shouldn’t go wild, but I definitely wanted to pick up a few things that I had seen during set up.  Once my workshop area was organized, I stepped back out when the vendors were officially open for business.

I should mention here that I’ve had a bit of a soap crisis in the past few years.  I used to make my own soap, which, of course, did wonders for my skin since I could formulate it exactly for me.  Unfortunately, my current kitchen layout isn’t conducive to safe soap making (especially with my cat around).  For about a year, I bought soap from Simply Sensational, which was a shop on Etsy that the owner closed for health reasons.  Then for a while I shopped at Dirty Loves Clean, but she seems to have disappeared, too.  For the last year or so, I have tried soaps from tons of online and in-person vendors and have not found the soap which really works for my skin, and I have been back to buying soap at Whole Foods.  So naturally, I was on the hunt for some soap at the Festival.

I found these three soaps - all with great scents - at the Longmeadow Farm tent.

I haven’t used them yet, but I have high hopes.  (By the way, I couldn’t find an online presence for Longmeadow Farm, except in this ad on the Creekside Fabrics website.)

I also wandered into the Bitsy Knits tent and left with some goodies.

My haul from Bitsy Knits.

I got two skeins of superwash Merino wool, the Squoosh! Superwash (in the back) and the Bitsy’s Sock (in the foreground).  Although I don’t “need” another gauge ruler/needle-hook sizer, I was very attracted to this Knit Picks View Sizer, so I decided to add it to my collection.

I was hoping that the yarn would work well with my coat.  I ended up with a Blue Chalk colored coat last year when I waited until the last minute to buy my winter coat and the color options were quite limited.  As a result, I can’t wear any of my handmade accessories that were designed when I had a black coat.  I really want to show off my stuff this winter, and I think these colors go well with my new-ish coat.

Here is the hood from my coat, along with the yarn. What do you think?

After my shopping spree, I went back to the 4-H Exhibit Building to teach my class.  I had a wonderful time, and I think my students did, too!  I’ll be teaching my Tunisian Crochet Basics class again at the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival on September 30.

After I finish my online Crochet 101 class as part of the Crochet Lyceum with Underground Crafter, you can expect to see a version of my Tunisian Crochet class online :).

Once my class was finished, I had to hurry to reach the Rochester bus depot in time.  I was picked up from the Hemlock Fairgrounds by a taxi right after class and I was whisked away to a Trailways bus.  Seven hours later, I was back in New York.

Bright lights, big city: The view of Times Square from my phone cam.

MC picked me up at Port Authority and we headed back home.  It was a lot of traveling within 36 hour period, but well worth it for the chance to see the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival and to teach my Introduction to Tunisian Crochet class.

Visit When Did I Become a Knitter for more Year of Projects posts.

Reminders

  • My local Etsy team, The {NewNew}, is offering 3 September giveaways, including an in-person knitting lesson with me, or a PDF Tunisian crochet tutorial if you are too far away to meet me in person.  You can enter this giveaway through September 23rd here.
  • I’m giving away two more PDF patterns collections of the Fall, 2011 issue of KnitCircus!   This issue includes 26 crochet and knit patterns.  You can enter this giveaway through September 20 here.
  • I’m giving away a copy of Ami Ami Dogs 2: More Seriously Cute Crochet, courtesy of Harper Design.  You can enter this giveaway through September 26 here.

 

Book review and Giveaway: Ami Ami Dogs 2 by Mitsuki Hoshi

Today, I’m teaching at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival in Hemlock, NY.  I scheduled this review of Ami Ami Dogs 2: More Seriously Cute Crochet by Mitsuki Hoshi to keep you company while I’m away :).  I’m also hosting a giveaway for one copy of the book, which I received courtesy of Harper Design!

Book Review

Some of you may already be familiar with Mitsuki Hoshi’s work from her website.  According to the Visitor counter, which is about the only thing on her website I can actually read, most of her visitors (over 35,000) are from Japan (not surprisingly), but she also has about 1,400 visitors from the U.S.  Her books have been translated from Japanese into several languages, including English, Dutch, and French.  Mitsuki Hoshi’s work has appeared in pet magazines as well as craft books, and she also teaches amigurumi classes.

Ami Ami Dogs 2 is the follow up to her Ami Ami Dogs: Seriously Cute Crochet, which was published in English by Harper Design in February.  Ami Ami Dogs 2 is scheduled to be released on September 27.  My amigurumi book collection is fairly small (Annie Obaachan’s Amigurumi Animals: 15 Patterns and Dozens of Techniques for Creating Cute Crochet Creatures, June Gilbank’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi, and Amy Gaines’s Cute Little Animals), so I was looking forward to seeing the review copy for Ami Ami Dogs 2.

Ami Ami Dogs 2 is a great little book.  As the name suggests, it is focused entirely on dog related patterns.  There are “full size” (a strange word to use for amigurumi, I know!) versions of 11 different breeds (Bernese Mountain Dog, Boston Terrier, Bull Terrier, Chihuahua, Dalmation, Hokkaido, Jack Russell Terrier, Japanese Shiba, Papillon, Shih Tzu, and Toy Poodle), and patterns for magnets and cell phone accessory projects to make with the same breeds.

The first section of the book is a two-page photo gallery of each pattern, which includes variations of each dog or project in multiple colors and poses.  Most of the “full size” dogs would be between 2-1/2 and 4 inches tall (depending on whether they are seated or standing), and the accessories and magnets would measure about 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 inches.

This section is followed by a fourteen page technique guide.  The technique guide includes numerous step-by-step color photographs, and demonstrates working in the round, changing colors, proper stuffing, and assembly.  This guide would definitely be clear enough for most crocheters new to amigurumi, and might even be enough for some complete beginners who learn well from still images.

The remainder of the book is the pattern section.  There are several things I really like about it.

  • Each pattern is shown through international stitch symbols.
  • Each pattern includes step-by-step written directions explaining the progression of tasks (e.g., “Crochet each body part.  Stuff cotton inside the head, body, and legs.  Attach the eyes to the head.”).
  • Patterns include illustrations of variations (e.g., dog sitting, standing, or reclining; various ear poses, etc.).
  • The stitch symbols are annotated to indicate eye placement and other important assembly guidelines.

There are a few things about the book that could be improved.

  • There are no pattern abbreviations, so if you are uncomfortable using stitch symbols, this book may be hard for you to follow.
  • The supplies have not been well adapted for the American market.  For example, when a pattern indicates that you need 0.64 ounces of white thread, should you use crochet cotton, sewing thread, embroidery floss, or a light weight yarn?  Similarly, I haven’t seen mohair thread readily available in the U.S.  Obviously, you can adjust the materials but that might turn off some beginners.

Overall, I think Ami Ami Dogs 2 is a really cute amigurumi book.  It has a really fun photo gallery that will inspire you to pick up your hook and make a little puppy of your own.  If you are an absolute beginner to crochet, you will probably need an adventurous spirit to tackle the patterns.  But if you have crocheted for a while, are familiar with stitch symbols, and/or have made amigurumi before, you will be able to make the necessary modifications and get started on a pattern right away.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  Overall, it is a visually stimulating amigurumi book.  Even though all of the patterns are of dogs, the skills covered are applicable to any type of amigurumi.

Giveaway

Here’s your chance to win a copy of Ami Ami Dogs 2: More Seriously Cute Crochet, courtesy of Harper Design.

You will have 10 days to enter this giveaway.  I will announce the winner on Tuesday, September 27 (the same day the book is released).

To enter,

  • Leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, September 26, 2011.  Be sure to include your email address (which won’t be displayed) so I can contact you if you win.  (Please note that my comments are moderated, so if you are a new visitor, it will not appear immediately.)
  • For another chance to win, like the Underground Crafter Facebook page.  Then you can either post a comment on Facebook or here again so I will give you another entry.  (If you already like my Facebook page, just post a comment for another chance to win.)
  • For another chance to win, join my Ravelry group.  Then you can either post a comment on my Ravelry group or here again so I will give you another entry.  (If you already are in my Ravelry group, just post a comment for another chance to win.)
  • For another chance to win, share the link to this giveaway via Twitter, Facebook, or your blog.  Then post a comment here with the link to your Tweet or blog post, or leave a comment on my Facebook page so I will give you another entry.

Good luck!