Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: Crocheted Abode A La Mode by Twinkie Chan


Twinkie Chan has the sense of humor and knack for executing realistic-looking "food" just for fun and also for useful items. I thoroughly enjoyed her first book, Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies. I adore my radish boa and my 6-year-old granddaughter insists that her mother wear the pizza scarf when they go out for pizza! She has dedicated her newest book, Crocheted Abode A La Mode, to keeping the home cozy and "yummy"with 20 food-themed crochet patterns that transform the adorable style of amigurumi to useful items for the house.

Admittedly, I am probably not fun-loving enough to appreciate Twinkie's creative spirit when it come to MY home decor. I don't have a strong need to transform my living space into something "delicious." However, if you are like me, try applying some of your own creativity to these patterns. Rather than used as a toiletpaper cozy, any child would love a crocheted birthday cake that becomes an annual tradition at party time.

Birthday Cake Toilet Paper Cozy
The Honey Bear Apron is adorable bur not practical. Turn it into a Halloween costume or make two in a scaled-down size. Once you join the two sides; fill with stuffing and voila... you have a teddy bear gift!

Honey Bear Apron
Sitting on a cherry pie may be a cheap thrill, but really?

Cherry Pie Seat Cover

My favorite project is the Taco Pencil Case that can also be used as a handy hook pouch; and the pattern offers an opportunity to get your feet wet with felting if you've never tried it.

Taco Pencil Case
If you are young at heart or want to be and you enjoy the process as much as the final project, this book is for you! Published in April 2016 by Creative Publishing International, Crocheted Abode A La Mode retails for $21.99.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Review: Vintage Modern Crochet by Robyn Chachula




Robyn Chachula is the "Wonder Woman of Crochet Design!" Not only has she appeared regularly as a crochet expert on the PBS show, Knit & Crochet Now, and continued to create pattern books that inspire her fans; but she has also created two children in the last few years!

A modern young designer, Robyn also has great admiration for the traditional fine thread motifs that would surely have been showpieces in her grandmother's home. Her talent lies in her ability to use classic stitch patterns that date back to the 1850s while transforming them to trending fashion!.

Zandstraat Jewelry by Robyn Chachula

Together with some of the most innovative crochet designers in the crochet world, her passion for breathing new life into classic stitch techniques inspires her team. Crochet is a vibrant art form, and the compelling use of vintage techniques in the book gives the reader designs in which they can look fabulous yet not out-dated!

Carefree Pullover by Natasha Robarge
Including 5 chapters, the book highlights a specific technique in each one: Pineapple lace, Bruges lace, Filet lace, Irish lace and Tunisian crochet. Robyn provides a brief yet interesting history of the technique in each chapter, and experts fill each one with inspired fashions. I particularly like Robyn's guidance at the beginning of each chapter that advises the crocheter on how to choose the pattern best suited to his/her skills or goals. "Technique Tidbits" also provide further insight into understanding what to expect from the patterns.

Bromelia Infinity Scarf by Moon Eldridge

Fidelma Motif Shawl by Cristina Mershon

Tunisian Swing Top by Megan Granholm
Perfect for any crocheter who respecst the traditions from our past and wants to dress fashionably today, I highly recommend Vintage Modern Crochet. Published by Interweave, it retails for $24.99.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Crochet Fgures Prominently in Etsy Article

Granny Squares (which the article calls "knitted sweaters!#*!!#%) Clothe the Exposed Ducts at Etsy

I read an article in New York magazine (April 4-17,2016) early this morning, and it jump-started my adrenalin flow for the day!! Entitled "ETSY Wants to Crochet Its Cake & Eat it Too," The author is Amy LaRocca, and she asks the question, "Can a company upend capitalism without really earning a profit?"

I loved reading about the corporate culture at Etsy which is a "peer to peer" operation that connects makers to buyers. For those working on the inside to keep the machine humming, there is free lunch after employees are encouraged to ride their bikes to work. There is also on-site education and 40 hours per year of paid volunteer time along with 100% paid health care premiums; 26 weeks of paid parental leave and great wages!

Accredited a a "B-Corp," Etsy has declared itself "equally responsible to its community and to the environment as to its shareholders who are duly warned that the company may not try very hard to make a profit."

Do you sell your handmade creations on Etsy? Link to the article and let me know what you think in the Comments section here on the blog!