Tag Archives: Tunisian crochet

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.

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

This post contains affiliate links.

Today, I’m really excited to share an interview with Stefanie Bold, a German crochet and knitting designer.  Like me, Stefanie is participating in the 2014 Indie Design Gift-a-Long, a virtual extravaganza running through December 31st here on Ravelry. In addition to her self-published works, her designs have appeared in knit.wear and Knitty.

Stefanie can be found online on Ravelry (as stebo79 and on her designer page) and on her German-language blog, Steffis Hobbyatelier.

All photos are (c) Stefanie Bold (except where noted) and are used with Stefanie’s permission.  Click on the pictures to link to the pattern page.
Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Stefanie Bold.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to knit and crochet?

Stefanie: I was about the age of 8 and I asked my mom to show me how she is knitting all these sweaters for me. She also taught me how to crochet. I was proud to know these techniques already as we had handicraft lessons in elementary school!

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Kylie Hat, a free Tunisian crochet pattern by Stefanie Bold.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Stefanie: Quite soon in my knitting career I adapted patterns to my own needs and finally came up with my own ideas. One day I decided that others might be interested in knitting my “designs” and started to write them up. A friend of mine encouraged me to send one of my patterns to Knitty and it was accepted! But without Ravelry, I wouldn’t be self-publishing that many patterns. It is a great platform for crafty people!

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Berlin, a knit sock pattern by Stefanie Bold. Image (c) Tangled online magazine.

UC: Many of your patterns are for socks. What do you enjoy about these types of projects?

Stefanie: A sock WIP (work in progress) is very portable and can accompany me while running around. Also, there are endless possibilities how to add patterns and play with gusset decreases.

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Allegra, a free Tunisian crochet pattern by Stefanie Bold.

UC: Most of your patterns are self-published. What do you enjoy about self-publishing?

Stefanie: I can make my own timeline and don’t get stressed when life interferes.

UC: What’s your favorite knitting book in your collection?

Stefanie: The one I mostly use is the one with lots of knitting patterns. Thumbing through it can be very inspiring!

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Xandra, a knit shawl pattern by Stefanie Bold.

UC: Tell me about a designer you discovered through participation in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long. What attracted you that designer’s work?

Stefanie: That’s a hard one as there are so many great designers… I’ll pick two: Sue Lazenby designs shawls that feature textured patterns, a contrast to the usual lace shawls. Cynthia Levy designs socks with heavy cabling, something that I also like to design, knit, and wear.

Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Stefanie!

To find more designers participating in the Indie Design Gift-a-Long, visit this forum thread on Ravelry.

NaBloPoMo

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

New crochet pattern: Diagonal Stripes Messenger Bag

I’m continuing my series of new pattern releases today by sharing the Diagonal Stripes Messenger Bag.

Diagonal Stripes Messenger Bag, Tunisian crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

This Tunisian crochet pattern is made with Lion Brand Yarns Alpine Wool, a great wool roving style yarn.

Diagonal Stripes Messenger Bag, Tunisian crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

The front and back panels of the bag are crocheted on the bias. If you’re new to Tunisian crochet, you will learn to increase, decrease, and change colors through this project. And, if you’re a more experienced Tunisian crocheter, this project will keep you engaged with the color changes and construction.

You can find the Diagonal Stripes Messenger Bag pattern for sale on Ravelry.

NaBloPoMo

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

Review: Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet on Craftsy

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter

This post contains affiliate links. Although I’m a Craftsy affiliate, and I earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) when you click through the links I share to Craftsy and make a purchase, I paid to take this course and, as always, the review is based entirely on my honest opinions.

This must be Tunisian crochet week on my blog! (Check out my mini interview with Sharon Silverman about her new book, Tunisian Crochet for Baby, here.)

I recently completed Dora Ohrenstein’s Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet class on Craftsy. In the past, I’ve interviewed Dora on my blog here and shared reviews of two of her books, Custom Crocheted Sweaters (review here) and The New Tunisian Crochet (review here). She let me know back in May when the class was first available, but I didn’t have time to sit down and watch it until recently.

The class includes 7 lessons:

Lesson 1: Tunisian Basics (29:32 minutes) provides a refresher of two basic Tunisian crochet stitches (Tunisian knit and Tunisian simple stitches), increasing, decreasing, counting rows, starting a base row, the standard return pass, and the slip stitch bind off. I enjoyed learning more about Dora’s method for decreasing, and actually incorporated the technique into one of my own designs.

The video in this section alternates between close ups and more conversational views of Dora talking.

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter

Dora providing a refresher of basic Tunisian crochet stitches.

Lesson 2: Tunisian Tools (13:43 minutes) includes an overview of different yarns and hooks for Tunisian crochet. Dora emphasizes choosing tools for the best drape. She also talks about gauge and provides some tips for getting the right gauge in this section.

Lesson 3: Measuring for a Perfect Fit (23:12 minutes) applies to any type of handmade garment measuring.

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter

Dora demonstrating proper measurement techniques.

Dora shows the correct way to take measurements from a body, her dress form Claudette, and existing garments. This section is very helpful, especially for those of us that haven’t had a lot of experience with doing measurements and want to create the great fit. You can see Dora wearing the vest project for this class in the picture above. You can buy a kit for the vest here, and the pattern is only available through the class.

Lesson 4: Adjusting the Pattern (23:04 minutes) is a detailed walk through of the pattern. The video in this section usually focuses on the pattern itself, with relevant areas highlighted or enlarged while Dora talks about that component. While this is obviously specifically about the vest pattern, Dora shares a lot of information about fitting, pattern alternations, and understanding schematics that could apply to any pattern you may work with in the future.

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter

In Lesson 5: Custom-Fit Calculations: Bust & Shoulder (35:53 minutes) and Lesson 6: Custom Fit Considerations: Waist & Hip (18:40 minutes), Dora goes into further detail about how to customize the pattern to fit your body (or the body of someone you are gifting or selling the finished project to). In these section, she talks about ease, measurements, how to adjust increases, decreases, and stitch counts, and (don’t be afraid, Americans) provides a review of the math necessary. She shows her math equations on screen (as well as the times she counts on her fingers) so that even those who are uncomfortable with math should be able to use these lessons to alter the pattern.

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter

In Lesson 7: Finishing Details (35:02), Dora goes over everything required to make your finished vest look “professional” – blocking, seaming, edging, cleaning, and so on.

At $29.99 with just under 3 hours of video, this class is a great value. In addition to the video lessons, the vest pattern, and some additional handouts, you have the opportunity to interact with fellow students and ask Dora questions. Unlike a face-to-face class, you can return to the videos again and again over time.

Although the class is focused on the vest pattern, Dora shares a lot of general information about gauge, fitting, measurements, altering patterns, and finishing that can apply to any project. She has a very calm voice and shares her sense of humor with the class on several occasions.

The only changes I’d like to see in the class are consistent with what I would like to see changed in Craftsy classes in general. I wish they would edit the videos into shorter segments, or break them up with music or visuals more often. Yes, of course, I can pause at any time, but as someone with an increasingly short video attention span (thanks a lot, YouTube!), I found the segments pretty long for watching straight through. I also wish there was more variety in the actual filming. The class basically alternates between watching Dora behind a desk, over the shoulder close ups (of her hands, the pattern being annotated, etc.) and Dora standing to take measurements. I wish there was more variety in backgrounds and use of illustrations or animation. These aren’t deal breakers – as I said, it is consistent with the way Craftsy classes are filmed. They tend to look like public television craft shows filmed on a static set, rather than funky videos you might find elsewhere online.

Overall, I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to go beyond the basics in Tunisian crochet; crocheters who struggle with (or fear) custom fitting, measurements, and the math behind alterations; and fans of Dora’s work who haven’t had a chance to take a class with her. You can sign up for Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet (with Dora Ohrenstein) here!

Blog Tour: Tunisian Crochet for Baby – Mini Interview with Sharon Silverman

This post contains affiliate links.

I’m excited to share a mini interview with Sharon Silverman today as part of her blog tour for Tunisian Crochet for Baby. Sharon is a designer, author, and instructor based in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Tunisian Crochet for Baby is her seventh crochet book, and she has more in the works. I previously interviewed Sharon here and she wrote a guest post here.

Like me, Sharon is a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America, and she is also a design member of The National NeedleArts Association. You can find her online on her website, on Ravelry (as CrochetSharon or on her designer page), on Facebook, and on Pinterest. I’ll also be sharing a giveaway for the new book at the end of this post, so read on for details!

Mini interview with Sharon Silverman about her book Tunisian Crochet for Baby on Underground Crafter blog.

Sharon Silverman

Underground Crafter (UC): What was your inspiration for writing Tunisian Crochet for Baby?

Sharon: On the design side, I have been a huge fan of Tunisian crochet ever since I came upon it in a stitch dictionary. It lets me create all sorts of fabrics and textures that are impossible in regular crochet. I am always glad to find an opportunity to share Tunisian techniques with other crocheters. Baby items, including garments, are very popular and seemed to be the logical next step after my books on scarves and pillows (both from Stackpole Books), and a Leisure Arts title, Tunisian Baby Blankets.

Mini interview with Sharon Silverman about her book Tunisian Crochet for Baby.

Washcloth Quartet.

UC: In your guest post, you mentioned some of the things you love about the look of Tunisian crochet. What about it do you find especially suited to baby projects?

Sharon: Because of their small size, baby projects aren’t too intimidating. The investment in time and materials is much less than it would be for something like an adult sweater. Baby items present a unique opportunity to learn a new skill and end up with a great finished project that can be crocheted quickly. Tunisian crochet stitch patterns seem very well suited to baby items, refreshingly different from typical double crochet fabric. I think crocheters will welcome the opportunity to try these new designs.

And with new babies entering the world all the time, crocheters always need things to make for those precious bundles! I included a variety of items to fit different skill levels, styles, and sizes from newborn through 12 months.

Mini interview with Sharon Silverman about her book Tunisian Crochet for Baby on Underground Crafter blog.

Sherbet Stripes Blanket.

UC: If a Tunisian crochet newbie was to pick up this book, what’s the first project you’d recommend to get them hooked, so to speak?

Sharon: Start with the Nursery Box and the simple stitch washcloth from the Washcloth Quartet. I would also suggest the Sherbet Stripes Blanket. It has some color changes, but the pattern itself is simple and straightforward. The matching Sherbet Stripes Hat would be a good follow-up for someone who is ready to go to the next level.

UC: And which project would you recommend for an experienced Tunisian crocheter who wants to try something new?

Sharon: The Christening Gown (with matching bonnet and booties) is a complex project with a Tunisian X-stitch pattern and some intricate shaping. For something that will be worn more often, the Zippered Hoodie will keep experienced crocheters engaged.

Mini interview with Sharon Silverman about her book Tunisian Crochet for Baby on Underground Crafter blog.

Christening Gown, Bonnet, and Booties.

UC: What else would you like us to know about Tunisian Crochet for Baby?

Sharon: All of the yarn I chose is washable. Every pattern includes written instructions and at least one symbol chart. Photo tutorials are included.

Thanks so much for stopping by Sharon! 

If you’d like to learn Tunisian crochet online, try these Craftsy classes: Online Tunisian Crochet Class and Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet (w/ Dora Ohrenstein)!

Giveaway

Stackpole Books is giving a copy of Tunisian Crochet for Baby to one lucky reader with a U.S. mailing address! For your chance to win, check out Stackpole’s lookbook for Tunisian Crochet for Baby, and let me know which project you would make first. Then be sure to log your entry into Rafflecopter! One winner will be chosen at random. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway