Tag Archives: kathryn vercillo

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.

The Flamies Nominations!

FlamiesI’m excited that the Flamies crochet awards are back this year after a two year absence. I’ve seen some great posts by other crochet bloggers sharing their nominations (like this one from Stitch Story and this one on Ambassador Crochet), and I decided to do the same! If you’re going to nominate, do it today! Voting starts in November.

This post contains affiliate links.

Best crochet blog

I read so many crochet blogs that it was tough to narrow it down. I decided to nominate two: Crochet Concupiscence and Fresh Stitches. You can read my interviews with Kathryn Vercillo from Crochet Concupiscence here and here, as well as a post I did for National Crochet Month talking about why I love her blog here. I interviewed Stacey Trock from Fresh Stitches here, reviewed her book, Modern Baby, here, and talked about why I love the tips she shares on her blog here.

Best crochet YouTube channel

I nominated Tamara Kelly from Moogly for her YouTube channel. I previously interviewed Tamara here. Truthfully, I don’t watch many YouTube videos. However, I have seen that over the past few months, Tamara has been posting videos for many of her new patterns, and I watched a few to check out her video technique (hoping for some tips!). Her videos have clear audio and video and seem really integrated into her blog.

Best crochet magazine and digital magazine

I nominated the newcomer, I Like Crochet, in both categories. (If Crochet Today hadn’t shut down, it would probably have gotten my vote for best print magazine.) I Like Crochet is a new digital subscription magazine that includes a range of different designs. I’ve had my patterns and articles published in several issues and so I’ve had a chance to read through those issues and find some fun projects.

Best handcrafted or artisan made crochet hooks

I nominated Diane Soper from Sistermaide on Etsy. I developed a bit of a fascination with bullion stitches a few years ago, and Sistermaide sells these wonderful tapered crochet hooks that make bullions so easy to crochet. You can see the two hooks I ordered from her below.

My two Sistermaide hooks.

My two Sistermaide hooks.

Best commercial crochet hook

Once again, I had to nominate two companies. I think it’s well established that I like Tulip Etimo hooks.

My trusty Tulip Etimo sneaking it's way into a tutorial picture.

My trusty Tulip Etimo sneaking its way into a tutorial picture.

But I recently discovered the Knitter’s Pride Symfonie Dreamz Interchangeable Tunisian Crochet Hook set when one of my free patterns, Tadley’s Diagonal Blanket, was featured on their blog here. These are now my go to hooks for Tunisian and double-ended crochet projects.

Best instructional crochet book

I gave a 5 star review to Kathryn White‘s The Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs. (You can read the full review here on the CGOA blog.) I nominated this book because it finally demystified Irish crochet!

Go-to book of Irish crochet motifs

Best crochet technical editor

I nominated the wonderful Juanita Quinones, also known as BoricuaCrochet on Ravelry. After interviewing her as part of my Hispanic Heritage Month series in 2012, I started working with Juanita for my independently published patterns. She is very thorough, timely, and also provides great feedback and suggestions! (Hopefully, this nomination doesn’t lead to her becoming too busy to tech edit my patterns!)

Best new crochet designer

This was a tough category because it seems that many of the designers I’ve been following have been publishing since before 2012. I nominated Lorene Haythorn Eppolite from Cre8tion Crochet. You can find Lorene’s pattern page on Ravelry here. I love her color sense and the shapes and textures that she creates.

Lifetime achievement award

This was also a tough category, because Lifetime Achievement always implies that someone is about to retire. I decided to nominate Kim Guzman, even though I’m sure she has many more years of designing, teaching, and writing ahead of her. Kim is a very talented designer and she is always willing to share her advice and (virtually) mentor those entering the yarn industry. She is also a great teacher. I learned so much from her Pattern Grading class on Crochetville, and also from reading her many great books. I had the honor of interviewing her here, and you can read my reviews of three of her books here, here, and here.

2013 Crochet Blog Awards

I’m really pleased to share that I won two 2013 crochet blog awards.

Awesome Crochet Blogger Award

Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence awarded me her 2013 Awesome Crochet Blogger Award for Best Crochet Interviews for the third year in a row (!).  (On a side note, wow, the pressure is really on now to come with some fantastic interviews!  Luckily, I already have a few up my sleeve that I’ll be posting later this year.)

Kathryn is one of my favorite bloggers, and this is really an honor.  I love her annual blogger award series and her weekly link love posts, which always introduce me to new crochet blogs.  You can read my interviews with Kathryn here and here, and find out more about what I love about her blog here.

I’m sharing links to four of my favorite crochet interviews from 2013:

You can find links to all of my interviews (mostly with yarn industry professionals) here.

Blog Button AllFreeCrochet

I’m happy to hear that my All Weather Cowl pattern (available for download here) was chosen by AllFreeCrochet as one of their 100 Favorites: The Most Popular Free Crochet Patterns of 2013, and so I’ve also been named one of their 2013 Top Bloggers.

This might explain why my Pinterest source page currently looks like this:

All Weather Cowl on Pinterest

(Usually, there is a variety of different photos!)  The All Weather Cowl is definitely one of my favorite samples to wear out.  (I even wear it around the house when it’s extra cold.)  I only wish the yarn I designed it with, Galler Yarns Aztec Boucle, hadn’t been discontinued this past summer.  You could make the entire cowl with just one skein!

Perhaps this award will motivate me to make another sample with a yarn that’s currently available…

Recent Crochet Book Reviews on CGOA Blog

You may know that I volunteer to review crochet books on the Crochet Guild of America‘s blog, CGOA Now!  In 2013, most of my book reviews have been published there.  Here are the links in case you missed the reviews.

This post contains affiliate links.

crochet-saved-my-life1

Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet by Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence

CGOA blog review * interview 1 * interview 2 * mini interview

 

 

Crocheting with Lucy Loop

Crocheting with Lucy Loop by Karen D. Thompson of Hooksations

CGOA blog review

 

 

Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family

Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family by Darla Sims

CGOA blog review

 

 

tunisian cables to crochet

Tunisian Cables to Crochet by Kim Guzman

CGOA blog review * interview

 

 

Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide

Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide by Kim Guzman

CGOA blog review

 

 

Ultimate guide to thread crochet

Ultimate Guide to Thread Crochet by Leisure Arts

CGOA blog review

 

Enjoy!

Favorite Online Crochet Resources: Videos from New Stitch A Day

Every Saturday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be highlighting one of my favorite online crochet resources.  Today’s featured site is New Stitch A Day, my favorite source of crochet videos.

There are many online sources of crochet videos and everyone has their favorites.  Mine is New Stitch A Day.  I frequently refer my crochet students to the crochet stitchionary (and the knitting videos are pretty cool, too).  I like the videos because they are clearly lit, well edited, and frequently include written instructions as well.

New Stitch a Day

Some of my favorites include his videos on the sc3tog decrease and the dc5tog bobble.  Many of my students struggle with this type of stitch so it is great to have a site to refer them to once they get home from the lesson.

I had the chance to interview Johnny Vasquez, the site’s founder, earlier this week, and talk to him about the site’s growth and their upcoming expansion.  But I saved a few special NatCroMo questions from the interview for today.

Johnny Vasquez taking a break on the set of New Stitch a Day.

Johnny Vasquez taking a break on the set of New Stitch a Day.

Underground Crafter (UC): Can you share a favorite crochet memory with us?

Johnny: My wife and I inspired another couple who are friends of ours to start knitting. So we were all hanging out in this little town in northern New Jersey in late October ’10 for the weekend. We went to this cute little yarn store because they had never been to a real yarn store at that time. While I was there I saw a gorgeous crochet hook made of palm wood. I didn’t know how to crochet, but I bought it anyway.  Now I needed to find something to make. Well, my buddy Nick, the hubby, hates Panda Bears. With a passion! He thinks they’re the dumbest, lamest, laziest animals on the planet. So I found an amigurumi panda pattern and made it for him. The funny thing was, I was making it right in front of him and he had no idea what it was. He was so excited he was jumping up and down with anticipation.

We ended up getting together for Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh (we all worked for a company where we traveled full time). I gave him the toy panda and he looked at me like I was crazy at first. But he finally broke out with a big smile and said it was the only panda he’d ever loveWe named it Bambu and now it lives in the crib of their new baby girl.

I liked that panda . . . I’ll have to make another one . . .

 

UC: What’s your current favorite crochet related resource on New Stitch a Day?

Johnny: We’ve got all kinds of stitches on New Stitch a Day in our Crochet Stitchionary, but I think our Crochet 101 series is pretty darn useful.

We get A TON of requests for stuff on Tunisian crochet, and we’re working with Lion Brand to put together some resources on that in the near future.

 

 

UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to make?

Johnny: Personally I am not a fan of crochet for garments. I think it looks like chainmail in most cases, especially on men.

I prefer to make amiguruimi with crochet. I’m working on a project I’m calling Yarn Monster that will be an amigurmi template in both knit and crochet that people will be able to use to make all kinds of toy monsters!

A yarn monster concept sketch by Johnny's brother, Donnie.

A yarn monster concept sketch by Johnny’s brother, Donnie.

 

UC: What are your favorite websites for crochet-related content and community?

Johnny: There’s a lady, Kathryn Vercillo, who runs a blog called Crochet Concupiscence. I can’t pronounce it for the life of me, but she puts out some really cool content. I’m always impressed with the stuff she finds. And she wrote a book about how crochet saved her life! (UC comment: I love Kathryn’s blog, too.  I featured it as my favorite online resource for crochet news here, interviewed Kathryn here and here, and reviewed her book on the CGOA blog here.)

 

Thanks so much for stopping by Johnny, and for creating a wonderful resource for crocheters!