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2014 Crocheter’s Gift Guide: Books and Subscriptions

It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about gifts for others – and for ourselves – so I’m sharing a series of gift guides for crocheters. In this series, I’ve shared 10 yarn clubs and community supported agriculture projects that are accepting new members/shareholders for 201511 handmade crochet stitch markers sets, and 10 unique crochet hooks (and crochet hook handles). Today, I’m sharing a roundup of great crochet books and subscriptions for crocheters.

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog

This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve divided up this gift guide into three sections: new book releases for 2014, evergreen books, and subscriptions for crocheters. All prices are in US dollars.

2014 New Book Releases

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog100 Colorful Ripple Stitches to Crochet: 50 Original Stitches & 50 Fabulous Colorways for Blankets and Throws by Leonie Morgan: Leonie has created a great follow up to 100 Colorful Granny Squares to Crochet (reviewed here). As in her first book, Leonie shares colorful stitch patterns that will inspire you to crochet some amazing home decor projects. The book includes both stitch patterns and chevron/ripple motif patterns. Each pattern is written in US crochet abbreviations and stitch symbols. This book would be a great gift for any crocheter who love to make blankets and/or who wants to explore chevrons, ripples, and waves. (Retail price: $21.99 paperback.)

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blogReversible Color Crochet: A New Technique by Laurinda Reddig: This book explores a method of crochet colorwork by sharing tutorials and a series of 28 blocks, arranged in order of difficultly, with 10 resulting afghan patterns. Laurinda’s method is similar to tapestry crochet but uses half double and double crochet stitches. She provides clear instructions for carrying colors in different situations to create reversible blocks. This would be a great gift for crocheters who like to try new techniques, explore colorwork, and/or make blankets and motif projects. (Retail price: $24.99. Also available as an ebook.)

 

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blogThe Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs by Kathryn White: This is one of my favorite crochet books of 2014, and I even nominated it for a Flamie Crochet Award. You can read my full review here on the Crochet Guild of America blog. It would make a great gift for anyone who has been wanting to try Irish crochet but is intimidated by it, crocheters who like working with lace, and/or crocheters looking for portable projects. (Retail price: $14.95. Also available as an ebook.)

 

 

 

 

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog

The Crochet Workshop by James Walters: This book is a reprint of the classic book from 1979. I shared my excitement about the original here as part of my 2013 Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week series. Although I haven’t yet seen the reprint, I’m very happy with my Dover reissue of Knitting Counterpanes, so I have no doubt this book will be awesome. This would make a great gift for the true “crochet nerd,” artists who want to explore crochet as a medium, and/or budding crochet designers. (Retail price: $24.95. Also available as an ebook.)

 

 

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog

Amamani Puzzle Balls by Dedri Uys: Although I haven’t yet had the chance to check out this booklet, it has been causing quite a buzz and the patterns look great. (You can see them all on the Ravelry source page here.) Dedri has created 6 amigurumi patterns that create fun versions of Amish puzzle balls. This booklet looks like a fun gift for crocheters who want to try out new construction techniques, crocheters who love amigurumi, and/or crocheters who like to make gifts for children. (Retail price: $10.99. Also available as an ebook.)

 

 

 

Evergreen Crochet Books

There are several books that I keep on my crochet gift list, even though they are not brand new. Each would make a great gift (although perhaps not for the crocheter with a large book collection!).

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog

The Fine Art of Crochet: Innovative Works from 20 Contemporary Artists by Gwen Blakley Kinsler is a unique addition to the library of any crocheter or artist. You can find my review here and my interview with Gwen here. (Retail price: $34.99. Also available as an ebook.)

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blogTunisian Crochet Stitch Guide by Kim Guzman is a great resource for any crocheter who is looking to expand their Tunisian crochet skills. I reviewed it here on the CGOA blog, and you can check out my interview with Kim here. (Retail price: $9.99. Also available as an ebook.)

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog

AmiguruME: Make Cute Crochet People by Allison Hoffman is a cool take on amigurumi. This book is ideal for someone who has some experience crocheting amigurumi but wants to learn how to customize their projects. (Retail price: $17.95.)

Craftsy

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blogThe Complete Photo Guide to Crochet, 2nd Edition by Margaret Hubert is my go-to recommendation for a great all around crochet reference book for newbies and more advanced crocheters alike. You can read my review of the first edition here and my interview with Margaret here. (Retail price: $24.99. Also available as an ebook.)

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog

Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet by Kathryn Vercillo is a great book about the health benefits of crochet. This would be a great gift for anyone in a helping profession or crocheters who like to read non-fiction. I reviewed it here on the CGOA blog, and you can check out my interviews with Kathryn here, here, and here. (Retail price: $17.95. Also available as an ebook.)

 Subscriptions for Crocheters

Subscriptions are the gifts that keep on giving all year round! These are ideal for crocheters who like to explore new patterns all the time, and for crocheters who like to access patterns on the go.

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Books & Digital Subscriptions on Underground Crafter's blog

  • I Like Crochet is a digital crochet magazine available for iPad or desktop/laptop. Issues are released every 2 months (6 issues a year) and include 30 projects and 7 tutorials in each issue. I’ve had patterns and articles published in every issue to date, so I’ve had the chance to see the great quality of this magazine through my contributor “copy.” Subscriptions range from $19.97/year for iPad only through $34.97/year for iPad and desktop access (including printing).
  • Mainly Crochet is an online pattern subscription service. For just $24/year, you can access all of the patterns in their collection, which currently number over 200. New patterns are added periodically throughout the year.

I hope you enjoy this gift guide! Many of these items are on sale through Cyber Monday (December 1, 2014), so you may want to check them out soon!

NaBloPoMo
I’m participating in BlogHer’s National Blog Post Month (also known as NaBloPoMo) by blogging daily through November, 2014.

2014 Crocheter’s Gift Guide: Handmade Crochet-Friendly Stitch Markers

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitch markers

It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about gifts for others – and for ourselves – so I’m sharing a series of gift guides for crocheters. Yesterday, I shared 10 yarn clubs and community supported agriculture projects that are accepting new members/shareholders for 2015. Today I’m sharing a roundup of 11 handmade crochet stitch markers.

These are all stitch markers I found while browsing on Etsy. Each one has a locking/opening closure (often using a lobster claw fixture) that makes it crochet-friendly. I use stitch markers all the time to keep track of right and wrong side, to note the beginning or end of a round when crocheting in unjoined spirals, or to keep track of row counts.

Stitch markers are a great gift because there are so many different types that you can choose something very suited to the recipient, and they are relatively inexpensive when compared to other gifts for crocheters.

Images are copyright the respective shop owners. Prices are listed in US dollars.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

The Color of Dreams BoutiqueGranny Square stitch markers

This is a set of 4 stitch markers using polymer clay beads that look just like granny squares! Price: $10. Ships from US.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

Haberdash-a-dooMade with Love stitch markers

This set of 6 non-nickle heart-shaped stitch markers include a keyhole opening and the phrase “made with love.” Price: $8.04. Ships from UK.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

AbsoKnittingLutely: Macaron stitch markers

This set of 5 hand-sculpted stitch markers are the perfect no calorie substitute for tasty macarfons! Price: $12.89. Ships from UK.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

FC Whimsey: Film-inspired stitch markers

This set of 6 polymer clay stitch markers are modeled after one of my favorite film series and make a perfect gift for the special sci fi nerd in your life. Price: $15.99. Ships from US.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

Crafty Cat Knitty bits: Round flower crochet stitch markers

A set of 10 polymer clay stitch markers with a floral theme. Price: $14.49. Ships from UK.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet StitchmarkersKnit Cubby: Kokeshi Doll stitch markers

This set of 5 stitch markers is graphically designed and then finished with a waterproof finish. Price: $14.99. Ships from US.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

The Clay Sheep: Pastel Sheep Stitch Markers

This set of 6 polymer clay stitch markers would make your favorite wool-lover very happy. Price: $24. Ships from US.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

My Polar Projects: Letter Stitch Markers

When you love the alphabet (or want to spell your best friend’s name or favorite crochet stitch), try this set of 6 metal stitch markers. Price: $18. (Additional letters are $3/each.) Ships from US.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

Little Knitty Bird: Grandmother’s Lavender Stitch Markers

This set of 5 stitch markers are made from plastic and metal beads and have a classic look. Price: $10. Ships from US.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

Teri Loves: Miniature Cassette Stitch Marker and Counter

This retro mini cassette stitch marker and row/stitch counter makes a great gift for your favorite audiophile. Price: $6.95. Ships from US.

Underground Crafter's 2014 Crocheters Gift Guide - Handmade Crochet Stitchmarkers

Snarky Llama Creations: Pinups Stitch markers

This set of 9 stitch plastic stitch markers include vintage-style pin-up images. These are a bit more risqué than the others, but are undoubtable a perfect gift for someone on your list! Price: $10.99. Ships from US.

NaBloPoMo
I’m participating in BlogHer’s National Blog Post Month (also known as NaBloPoMo) by blogging daily through November, 2014.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Great Gifts for Yarncrafters

This post contains affiliate links.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) signifies the official start of the holiday shopping season.  In the spirit of keeping the holidays a little more handmade and small business and a little less mass produced and corporate, I’m sharing several holiday gift guides today.

Great Gifts for Yarncrafters

There are so many great gifts out there for yarncrafters that I hardly know where to begin.

Books

Books are great gifts for yarncrafters, but with so many options out there, it can be hard to choose.

Kits

CRAFT magazine posted a Craft Kits gift guide for 2011.  Here are some of my favorites.

Double Drop Spindle Maple Wood Yarn Spinning Kit from Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber. (Image used with permission.)

Classes


Classes are so fun!  Not only can you learn new techniques and projects, but you get to meet more people who share your passion for knitting and crocheting.

Yarn

Most yarncrafters are always on the look out for new (and more) yarn.  Buying yarn for someone else can be daunting though.

  • Look for tips for color and yarn weight in their Ravelry project pages.
  • Or pick up something unique, like a handspun or hand dyed yarn, or something that isn’t available in their community, like small batch yarn ordered online.
  • Check Ravelry’s Black Friday Yarn Sale thread in Needlework on the Net for weekend sales.
  • I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to some wonderful yarns from several small companies this year.  You may want to check out A Stash AddictBitsy Knits, or Chopped Tomatoes Design Kitchen.  Other yarns that I’ve admired from a distance but haven’t yet tried include Candy SkeinFunky Monkey, and Swoon Fibers.

Emerald Forest colorway from A Stash Addict.

  • A gift certificate to a LYS is another option, if you are worried about making the final decision yourself.
  • And, of course, I wrote about my favorite yarns here if you are still looking for ideas.

Hooks and Needles

Crochet hooks and/or knitting needles make great gifts, especially if you pick out something special.

Show Your Appreciation

Making things by hand is a labor of love.  Show your appreciation with a set of This Took Forever woven labels from Sublime Stitching and maybe you’ll get a homemade gift in return :).

Wishlists

Does your favorite yarncrafter have a wishlist?  I rely on the Add to Amazon Wishlist browser button to keep my wishlist organized in one spot.  (Hint: If you are a yarncrafter hoping people will get you awesome holiday gifts, maybe you should do that, too! You can even add patterns from Ravelry so that non-members can see them from the pattern purchase page.)

Enjoy the last gift guide, and feel free to share your favorite gifts for yarncrafters in the comments!

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Handmade Gifts to Buy

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) signifies the official start of the holiday shopping season.  In the spirit of keeping the holidays a little more handmade and small business and a little less mass produced and corporate, I’m sharing several holiday gift guides today.

Handmade gifts to buy

If you’re more pressed for time than money this holiday season, you may want to buy a handmade gift.

CRAFT magazine has a series of Holiday Gift Guides for 2011 which include Gifts Under $20 and pet gifts.

Etsy is an online craft marketplace with many great holiday gifts.  If you are looking for sales, you can browse listings with Black Friday Etsy or Cyber Monday Etsy tags… but then you’d be wading through over 70,000 items.  You can try a curated approach by checking out treasuries posted by Etsy members with Black FridayCyber MondayWinter Gifts, Gifts for Her, or Gifts for Him tags.  Or, you can read the daily Etsy crochet treasuries by Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence.  My local Etsy team, The {NewNew}, has even put together a series of holiday gift guides (for teachers, for teens, and for her).

Still overwhelmed?  Here’s my short list of holiday Etsy picks.

Perez Gillton Flounder Amigurumi from Cheezombie. (Image used with permission.)

Vintage Dad (any year) t-shirt from BRANDED. (Image used with permission.)

  • Unique and marvelous (more expensive) woodcrafts gifts for someone special can be found at rusticworker.
  • Bottlehood has great glassware and jewelry made from upcycled bottles.  They also offer gift certificates.  A variety of “eco-fabulous nifty gifties” for kids and adults are available from Ivy Lane Designs.

Recycled Dr. Pepper Juice Glasses from Bottlehood. (Image used with permission.)

Artfire is another online craft marketplace for handmade gifts, and you can view their Black Friday sales here.

Perhaps you prefer an in-person shopping experience.  CRAFT magazine’s list of events and the Sunshine Artist website are great resources for finding holiday craft fairs.  (My besties and I plan to wait until the last possible moment and then shop the Lyceum Holiday Market and Brooklyn Craft Central’s Holiday Market the Saturday before Christmas.)

Enjoy the second gift guide, and feel free to share your favorite handmade gifts to buy in the comments!

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Handmade Gifts to Make

This post contains affiliate links.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) signifies the official start of the holiday shopping season.  In the spirit of keeping the holidays a little more handmade and small business and a little less mass produced and corporate, I’m sharing several holiday gift guides today.

Handmade gifts to make

This time of year, many crafters are using every spare moment to make holiday gifts for their loved ones.  Tracie Barrett‘s Gift Giving Guide on the Fibers by Tracie blog gives some great suggestions for quick-to-make holiday gifts and Fearless Leader recently posted a teaser for the Crochet Liberation Front‘s upcoming Official Guide to Super Awesome Gift Giving.

My personal favorite last minute crochet gift projects are scarves made with bulky yarns (or multiple strands of yarn), hats, and cotton washcloths.

For scarves and washcloths, I turn to my stitch guides for inspiration.  Don’t have any stitch guides?

Not sure how many stitches to start with?  This post in my Crochet 101 CAL explains how to use your gauge to figure out how many stitches to start with if you want to make a project of a specific size.

Some of my holiday 2011 washcloths.

Hats make wonderful, quick holiday gifts.  Some of my favorite crochet hat patterns:

Stocking Caps. (Photo (c) House of White Birches.)

I just reviewed 60 More Quick Knits, which has some great knitted hat patterns, as well as patterns for mittens and scarfs.  My favorite crochet mitten pattern, amazingly available in 8 sizes from infant to XL adult, is Heart Strings by Cathy Pipinich.

Amigurumi can make a fun gift, too.

Filled with great gift ideas!

Speaking of books I haven’t had a chance to review yet, there are three great patterns in Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers by Linda Permann that would make speedy children’s gifts: Cozy Crawlers Leg Warmers (6 mo – 2 years, and available here as a free excerpt), Tiny Tee Appliques to add to store bought or hand sewn clothes, and Beanie and Bonnet (in baby, toddler, and child sizes).  (Beanie and Bonnet errata available here.)

handmade gift bag can be a wonderful addition to a handmade or store bought gift.  These bags can be also reused, unlike conventional wrapping paper, making them more eco-friendly.Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence has a great list of crochet patterns for bags in this blog post.  The Mel Stampz blog has a list of 50 templates and patterns for papercrafts gift bags.

Deborah Atkinson from Snowcatcher has excellent crochet patterns and tutorials in her Snowflake Monday posts.   (It would be great if you could contribute to her charity of choice, Bike MS, so that she can send you a PDF of her 20 most popular designs.)  These snowflakes would make great holiday decorations or embellishments for gifts.  Some of the patterns would also work well as a set of holiday coasters.

With all of this holiday crocheting and knitting, you may be running low on yarn.  So why not stop by your Local Yarn Shop to celebrate Small Business Saturday?  You can even register your American Express card in advance to get a $25 credit on your statement if you spend at least $25 at a small business on Saturday, November 26.  Your LYS employees are guaranteed to have some additional project ideas and maybe even a few new patterns or yarns for you try out.  (If you’ll be yarn shopping in NYC, check out my Visitor’s Guide to New York City Yarn Shops.)

If you aren’t in the mood for knitting, crocheting, or papercrafting, handmade food gifts are another option.  I like to make jar mixes:  I don’t exhaust myself with last minute baking, the mixes last longer and can be used after the holidays end, and the jars can be reused in the kitchen or for craft storage.  Nestle‘s Very Best Baking is a good site for finding classic gift recipes.  My favorite jar mixes to give are the classic Toll House cookies mix, the chewie brownie mix, and the hot cocoa mix.  For those who don’t like chocolate (and there are some of them out there), I like the pumpkin cranberry bread mix or the oatmeal chip cookie mix (substituting butterscotch chips, raisins, or craisins for the chocolate chips).  You can also check out the Best Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipes and Dry Soup Mix Recipes pages at Allrecipes.com for more ideas.  If you can’t find canning jars in your area, there are many online options for ordering these days.  Just remember that if you are shipping jar mixes, you need to be careful about packaging.

Enjoy the first gift guide, and feel free to share your favorite gifts to make in the comments!