25 Cozy Crocheted Slippers Book Review

25 Cozy Crocheted Slippers book review

25 Cozy Crochet Slippers

Publisher: Stackpole Books

Number of Pages: 108 pages

Number of Projects: 25

Types of Projects: Slippers for kids, dads, moms, and anyone else who would love a pair of handmade slippers.

Difficulty: Projects range from beginner to advance. The majority of the projects are listed as intermediate.

Yarn Used: #1, #3, #4, #5, #6, and crochet thread size 5 and size 10.

First Impression: There is a wide variety of styles to chose from.

Favorite Project:

Review: When I receive a book to review the first thing I do is go into tech editor mode. (and coming in 2016 all my book reviews will be from that perspective). I love looking at a book from a behind the scenes perspective and this book was no different with how I approached my view.

The slippers are photographed well so you get a very good idea of color, texture, and details. There are a wide array of yarns used, each adding their own elements to the patterns. Combine that with her many color choices and there are plenty of patterns to choose from. Patterns include everything from plain “sock-like” slippers to slippers with owls on them, and everything in between. Both casual and fun there is something for everyone.

Kristi writes her patterns slightly different than what is standard in most of the crochet industry, but she does make sure you know exactly how to read them with a section titled “How to Read My Patterns”. If you’ve never used one of her patterns, don’t worry. They are not hard to read, you will just want to read her notes before you get started. There is also a section that includes general information (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well as stitch help. There are also many photos to help if you are a visual person (which I appreciate because I’m a visual learner).

If you love keeping your family’s feet warm, need quick gifts or bazaar items, or just want to try your hand at some slippers, I recommend this book. Not only is there a variety of types of projects, but also a great mix of skill levels, which makes there a good overall variety to choose from.

Stackpole Books is giving away one copy of the book to my readers! To be entered to win, all you have to do is head to Stackpole’s site and check out their lookbook with photos of the projects. Then come back and leave me a comment telling me your favorite pattern. Contest ends midnight, Monday, Nov. 23rd. Winner will be announced Tuesday morning.

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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16 Before 2016: Update on My Goal Challenge


16 Before '16 - Making a to-do list of things to accomplish before 2016


Last month I decided to make a to-do list of 16 Things to Accomplish Before 2016. While I won’t list the “why” or description of each one in this update, I’m still coming clean and doing my progress report (regardless of how good or bad I’m doing with this goal challenge).  So, here goes nothing . . . .


1) Lose 15 lbs. in 2015 – I still have 12 more to go. I can’t see any way I’m going to lose 12 lbs in 2 months, but I’ll keep trying.
2) Get on a schedule – 
3) Make working out habit again – I have been slowly and sporadically working out, but it’s not consistent yet.
4) Finish unpacking – I’ve unpacked about 6 boxes since I wrote this list 30 days ago. Not great progress, but still working on keeping this goal.
5) Budget –
6) Christmas gifts –


7) Double my readership & income – Being realistic, there’s no way this will happen before the end of 2015…..maybe by the end of 2016.
8) Book outline
9) Sell one design to a publisher – I only have one design submitted for review at this point. I will be submitting another one, but they won’t make a decision before the end of the year.
10) Create editorial calendar
11) Make 2016 business plan/outline
12) Evaluate all my 3rd party shops – I’ve closed my ebay shop and will (hopefully) have my bigcartel shop closed by the middle of November after everything is transferred to this website.
13) Newsletter – It’s up and running. Now I just need to create a schedule to make it easier.
14) Add downloads to my site – 75% done.
15) Have paperwork ready for taxes
16) Classes – I will never be “caught up” to the point where I have nothing else I want to learn, but I do want this to be a daily habit for me.

Have you made a list? It’s not too late to create your own.

If you’ve already made one, leave a link in the comments. I would love to read it.

I will re-evaluate again on Dec 1st and hopefully have a lot more progress than I did in October. Feel free to hold me accountable. Together, maybe we can finish 16 before ’16.

Happy Crocheting!

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Designer Interview & Review featuring Susan Lowman

Throughout 2015 I will be doing designer interviews and reviews. Each month I will feature one industry designer, ask them some questions, and then I will actually make something from one of their patterns and do a review of it.

Designer Interview & Review featuring Susan Lowman


For October I am featuring designer Susan Lowman from The Crochet Architect. When I first joined CGOA as an associate professional, Susan became my mentor. She was an invaluable help to me when I first started working more professionally in the industry. (For more information on the CGOA Mentor program click here.)

Susan is so involved in the crochet industry that I’m not sure I can list everything she is behind the scenes with. But there are a couple of places I would highly suggest you seek her out. First, she teaches a couple classes over at Annie’s Attic. (You can find the list of classes she offers here). In addition to all that she offers us in regards to patterns and teaching crochet she is also a CGOA board member and is Co-chairman of the CGOA Master’s Program. (I highly recommend the Master’s Program!)

(Please note: CGOA & Annie’s Craft Store are NOT affiliate links. I get no commission if you visit their sites. I’m just providing links if you would like more info.)

Susan is a wealth of knowledge and her interview has some great insight.  At the bottom of the interview I made, and reviewed, one of her patterns. Make sure you read all the way through because Susan is offering 25% discount to my readers.


K (Me): How did you get started designing?

Susan: I’ve always loved to make things with my hands, ever since I was a little girl. I started designing crochet patterns long before I sold my first pattern. However, it wasn’t until the late 90’s when I met 2 crochet designers in my small town that I learned how to go about selling my designs for publication. The 2 designers were Nanette Seale and Lucille LaFlamme. I’m very grateful for the encouragement and knowledge that they shared with me. I joined CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) in 2002 and started attending their annual conference. It was there that I learned more about the professional crochet industry and met some crochet magazine editors. I also attended a craft trade show in 2002, where I met Jean Leinhauser, Rita Weiss and Bobbie Matela, who were the creative force (at that time) behind the American School of Needlework. After meeting many professionals in the crochet industry face-to-face, my designing career took off!

K: Do you remember the first pattern you ever designed?

Susan: Yes. It was my “Baby Blocks” afghan, which was published in Jan. 2000 in the Leisure Arts book, “Contest Favorites Baby Afghans”. I designed that afghan for one of my babies in the late 80’s or early 90’s. Of course, since my babies had used the original afghan quite a bit, I had to crochet a new afghan for the publisher to photograph in the leaflet!

K: Where do you get your design inspiration from?

Susan: I get design inspiration from many places. Sometimes it’s from a design made in another medium, such as knitting, sewing or quilting. Other times it’s from something I’ve seen in a catalog or in a store. Many times, a design idea just pops into my head and I can’t rest until I’ve made it (or at least gotten started on it)! And one design idea often morphs into many design ideas!

K: What is most important to you when choosing yarn for a design? Look? Feel? Weight?

Susan: The colors are definitely the most important thing for me! The colors have to look good together. If they don’t look good to me, I don’t enjoy the designing process. The feel of the yarn comes in a close second to the color.

K: What makes your designs unique?

Susan: Many of them are not your average, run-of-the-mill designs. I like to challenge myself with new techniques and designs that make people say “wow”! And I try very hard to make my patterns easy to understand and follow. I hope crocheters enjoy making them, as well as challenging themselves to make something new. I believe that my creativity is a gift from God. I thoroughly enjoy using this gift and sharing it with others through my crochet designs and teaching various crochet classes, as time allows.

K: Any advice to crocheters that want to keep their work fresh and exciting?

Susan: Learn a new crochet technique or make something you’ve never made before. Try new colors or yarns that you’ve never worked with. Join a local or national crochet group to learn from others and see what they’re making. I love to push myself to learn something new. It can really get my creative juices flowing! If I make the same thing too many times, I get bored with it! Continually making or learning something new keeps crochet exciting for me!

K: Where do you see crocheting going as an art form?

Susan: As one of the co-chairs in this year’s CGOA Design Competition, I saw a lot more crochet designers challenging themselves to create more intricate designs. Some of the design entries this year were very artistic, creative, and inspiring. There are some designers/artists around the world who are doing huge sculptural crochet pieces that are amazing! Crochet definitely isn’t just granny squares anymore! The sky’s the limit! If you can imagine it, you can create it in crochet!


K: Favorite part of designing?

Susan: The challenge of creating what I envision in my head with yarn and/or crochet thread!

K: Least favorite part of the designing?

Susan: Deadlines, and the stress that sometimes comes with trying to meet them.

K: Favorite yarn?

Susan: Do I have to pick just one? My favorite yarn changes as often as the wind changes. Sometimes when I try a new yarn, it instantly becomes my favorite (until I try another new yarn)!

K: Do you have a crochet “hero” or someone you look up to in the industry?

Susan: There are so many people I look up to in the crochet industry: too many to list them all. Rita Weiss and the late Jean Leinhauser are at the top of my list. Rita and Jean are some of the “pioneers” in the crochet industry.


ripple infinityUnforgettable Ripple Cowl

I really wanted to try one of Susan’s wiggly crochet patterns but I was worried about not having enough time to finish it (I wanted to try her Wiggly Hearts Rug!). Instead I decided to make the Unforgettable Ripple Cowl so I would have a completed project for you to see. As most of you know I’m doing my best to work through my stash and not buy any yarn. The pattern called for Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, which I actually had in my stash. I had the color Petunia, so I made it with that.

You do have to pay attention the first couple rows, but once you get the pattern down you’ll be able to take this project anywhere and work on it without having to constantly look and see what’s coming next. This kind of project is great for mom’s sitting at sports events, watching TV, etc. It worked up quickly and I was done in just a couple nights in front of the TV with hubby.


My one piece of advice in regards to the pattern (and it has nothing to do with Susan’s pattern)….

Consider your yarn before you begin. Susan chose a variegated yarn. I chose an purple ombre that just changed shades. While I love how mine came out, I think I like Susan’s better. The colors were bolder which helped make the stitch pattern pop. If I were to make this again I would either choose a more vibrant yarn, or one with a solid color.

TIP: If you’re going to substitute the yarn called for, check the yardage on the yarn label and make sure you will have enough. Read these 2 articles I’ve written for more info and help.

5 Tips for Substituting Yarn – overall help for choosing a different yarn

Tips for Substituting Yarn – info based on yarn label

All-in-all, I have to say that I love the end result! Considering it’s made with a #4 worsted weight yarn, the scarf feels light, like you could wear it on a crisp fall day. Or pair it with a jacket on colder days.


Designer Review - Unforgettable Infinity by Susan Lowman


Susan is offering a 25% discount to my readers. Please visit her pattern shop on her website – The Crochet Architect pattern shop and use coupon code AmbCro2015 at checkout. Coupon code is good through Nov. 15.

For more information about Susan and/or her patterns, visit her at the links below:

The Crochet Architect – Blog


If you have any questions you’d like me to ask in upcoming interviews, or someone you’d love to see featured, leave a comment and let me know. Make sure you come back next month when I interview April Garwood from Banana Moon Studio!

Other designers in this series:

Jocelyn Sass

Shelby Allaho

Janet Brani


Happy Crocheting!

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The One Question You Shouldn’t Ask a Crocheter

What are you knitting? The one question you shouldn't ask a crocheter


Crocheting vs Knitting . . . . Knitting vs Crocheting. It feels like an age old argument. One that seems like it will never be solved. And why does it have to be like this? Why do knitters not include crocheters? And why do crocheters get so offended by knitters? Please note: These are generalized statements and they do not include ALL knitters and/or crocheters.

In the past couple years I have heard so many crocheters complain and vent when someone asks them:

“What are you knitting?”

The two most common things I have hear are: “Someone actually asked me what I was knitting!” OR “Can’t they see I have a hook and not needles.” Please stop getting offended! Here are 3 reasons people say things like that.

1) They obviously don’t know the difference – This is not to put down those who are saying those things. And it’s certainly not said to irritate you. They just honestly don’t know the difference! Maybe their grandmother used to knit and they recognized it as a yarn craft, not a “crochet vs knit” thing. Here’s an idea… Use it as a way to teach them the difference! You will feel better and they just may walk away having learned something new.

2) They may actually be interested in your project – While they may not know the difference, or maybe they genuinely didn’t think about it, maybe they’re using it as a way to get you to talk about what you’re doing. If you get offended or snap a response you will turn them away, not make them more interested. Be kind!

3) Maybe, just maybe, they don’t care that it’s crocheted – Maybe they want to know if you sell items, or if you know where they can buy something handmade. Or maybe they just love handmade arts and don’t necessarily care what specifically you’re doing. Or just maybe they want to open up a conversation with you.

Trust me! I am a crocheter who does not know how to knit. I can get offended, or I can choose to react kindly, and maybe convert another person to love the yarn industry as much as I do. We should all be working together to pass on our love for the handmade arts. Not competing or being offended by something that is not meant to offend.

I Love Yarn Day 2015

Tomorrow – Saturday (10/17/15) is I Love Yarn Day. This years focus is #StitchItForward. Bring your yarn out in public and strike up a conversation with someone. Try to enlighten and teach someone about crochet (or knitting) and how much you love it. You may just be surprised.

Happy Crocheting!

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3 Tips for Teaching Left-Handed Crochet


3 Tips for Teaching Left-handed Crochet


Out of my 6 children, 5 of them are girls. So, naturally I want them all to love crochet as much as me. I taught the oldest 2 girls when they were 7 & 6 years old. At the time my 4th child (3rd daughter) was 5 year old. She wanted to learn also, but because she’s left-handed, had some learning struggles, and was only 5, she had a very hard time. We put it down for a couple years and tried to pick it up again, but she still wasn’t getting it.

I finally did some research and came up with 3 different methods that left-handers have used to learn to crochet. We.tried.them.all….

  • The mirror effect – Have them sit facing you. The concept is to have them do exactly what they see you doing as if looking in a mirror. This will help them be able to visualize without having to reverse everything in their mind. The mirror effect will do that part for them.
  • Teach yourself to crochet left-handed – Teach yourself to crochet left-handed so you can have a better understanding of how to teach it. Yes, it’s a stretch, but I actually tried this to help my daughter. It gave me a new found respect for trying something challenging. It was like learning to crochet all over again! While it did help my daughter a bit, it wasn’t the method she ended up going with.
  • Have them try to crochet right-handed – Have them try to crochet right-handed. While this doesn’t seem like the most logical way, some people find it easier than actually using their left hand. I have 2 daughters that do everything with their primary hand but have one (maybe two) tasks that are easier with the opposite hand. Honestly this was the last technique I tried with my daughter, but it is ultimately what worked best for her.

3 Tips for Teaching Left-handed crocheters by Ambassador Crochet

Because everyone learns differently, you will need to try them to see which will work for you, or whomever you’re teaching. Left-handed crochet can be just as fun and rewarding as doing it right-handed. Whether you are teaching a child, or an adult, just keep trying and see what works best. Here are some additional Tips for Teaching Children to Crochet.

Do you have any other techniques to try that I didn’t mention?

Happy Crocheting!

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Happy-gurumi Book Review


Publisher: Martingale

Number of Pages: 80 pages

Number of Projects: 20 Amigurumi Toys

Types of Projects: Primarily animals and food items, but there is also a hot air balloon, and a few others that don’t fit into one of those 2 categories.

Difficulty: There is one project listed as beginner. All other projects are either easy or intermediate.

Sizes: Projects range from 3″ – 8″.

Yarn Used: All projects used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream #4 cotton.

First Impression: If you love amigurumi, or cute toys, you will enjoy this book.

Favorite Project: Hard decision, but I’m going to go with the turtle. He’s just cute!


Amigurumi TurtleTurtle

Review: While these projects are small, they have a personality all their own. They’re cute and fun, and would make a great gift for anyone who loves animals or amigurumi. The thing that I love most about softies is that they almost always use single crochet, so they’re great for beginners that are ready to try some shaping using basic stitches. Plus, they work up quickly with an F hook and some #4 yarn. Martingale has also included general information – gauge, terms, abbreviations, yarn, and more.

Bonus: There are templates for the felt pieces so you can just trace and cut them out. In addition to the templates, there are also photo tutorials for sewing pieces together as well as attaching eyes and extremities.

Amigurumi CakeBirthday Cake

Happy-gurumi book reviewWhale

I’ve only shown you a few of my favorites. You can click on any of the photos, or the link under the cover photo, to go to Martingale‘s website and see the rest of the projects.

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own. I do not have any affiliate links added and make no money if you click on them. The links are for your convenience only. 
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Crochet Refresher Book Review & Giveaway

***Brenda B. is the winner of the giveaway.***

Crochet RefresherCrochet Refresher

Publisher: Leisure Arts

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Number of Projects: 9 projects

Types of Projects: Washcloths, baby blankets, hat, and mitts.

Difficulty: Projects range from easy to intermediate.

Yarn Used: #4 worsted weight; (One pattern uses #3.)

First Impression: This is a great book for those who would like to pick up crochet again, especially for those who are visual learners.

Favorite Project: The Puffs Blanket is my favorite project, but my favorite feature of the book is the links to video tutorials.

Puffs BlanketPuffs Blanket

Review: There are some great projects in this book for anyone looking to freshen up on their crochet skills. I was also very impressed with many of the other features that were included in this book. Leisure Arts and Sharon Silverman have thought of everything! The book starts by refreshing you with the easiest stitches first and then works harder stitches and techniques into subsequent projects. It covers everything like the basics of sc and hdc, to changing colors and post stitches. In addition to photos for almost all the stitches used in the book, they also have photos for left handed crocheters. There is also general information (gauge, terms, abbreviations, blocking, and more).

Bonus: There are links in the ebook that will take you to online video tutorials. I believe this is an invaluable tool for those who are visual learners. 

Crochet Refresher washcloths

I’ve only shown you a couple of my favorite projects. You can click on any of the photos, or the link under the cover photo, to go to the Leisure Arts website and see the rest of the projects.

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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