Fringe Benefits Book Review

Fringe…..I love it! And Fringe Benefits by Leisure Arts is entirely dedicated to projects with fringe, which totally makes me happy. I was so excited to be able to do this review.

 

Fringe Benefits

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.

 

Fringe Benefits

 

Publisher: Leisure Arts

Author: Melissa Leapman

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Number of Projects: 8 patterns

Types of Projects: Accessories and wearables

Difficulty Ratings: All patterns are rated easy. (Easy – Projects using basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping.)

Yarn Used: #4 and #5

First Impression: This is so great. A shopping list!!! The material list has been made into a shopping list. You can just bring it with you and check off the items as you purchase them. Genius!

My Favorite Project Pick: Cowl, tank, and cuff bracelet…..I couldn’t choose just one!

 

Cowl pattern from Fringe Benefits - book review by Ambassador Crochet.

 

Cuff Bracelet from Fringe Benefits - book review by Ambassador Crochet.

 

Scoopneck Top from Fringe Benefits - book review by Ambassador Crochet.

 

 

Review 

 

I love more advanced patterns that challenge me, but there is something to be said about a book entirely dedicated to easy patterns that are fashionable as well. Easy patterns are great for when you want to crochet something without a lot of extra thought or concentration. And, while there are only 8 projects in this book, there is a variety of projects including a poncho, bags/purse, a vest, and more. If you love fringe, I think you’ll love the Fringe Benefits pattern book.

 

Technical Review 

 

Leisure Arts now color codes their sizes. So if you have the same set of instructions with different stitch counts you will still see 32 (34, 36) but 32 might be blue, 34 pink, and 36 green. Sometimes it’s these little things that help immensely with the pattern instructions. Small and medium sizes are in one set of brackets { } and large, 1x, and 2x are in a separate set of brackets { } – I’m assuming this is to make it easier on the eyes to find what you’re looking for (like the color coded size counts).

Leisure Arts has included general pattern info (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well as exactly which yarns were used for each project, so you can match it exactly if you’d like to.

Overall, Fringe Benefits is a great pattern book if you love fringe and/or are looking for some patterns that you can make in a short amount of time. I’ve only shown you a few of my favorites. You can click on any of the photos to go to Leisure Art’s website and see the rest of the projects. I would love for you to come back and tell me which project is your favorite.

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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A Garden of Shawls Book Review & Giveaway

I was so excited to be asked to do a book review of Karen Whooley’s new book called A Garden of Shawls by Karen Whooley. Check out my review below to find out how you can win a copy, plus have a chance at other giveaways!

 

A Garden of Shawls by Karen Whooley - Crochet pattern book review & giveaway by Ambassador Crochet.Photography by Anne Podlesak. Photos used with permission.

&

A Garden of Shawls by Karen Whooley - Crochet pattern book review & giveaway by Ambassador Crochet.A Garden of Shawls by Karen Whooley

Picture an elegant ornamental garden. Can you see it? It’s full of lovely flowers peeking through the picket fences, swaying in the breeze, turning skyward to the warmth of the sun.  It’s a haven from a busy work day.  A place to wander on a cool evening with a lacy shawl draped around your shoulders. A place to daydream…

A Garden of Shawls includes 12 beautiful lace shawls that evoke that feeling of being in a beautiful garden.  Made with either fingering or lace weight yarns each shawl will inspire you to create your own slice of heaven. Find out more at https://www.karenwhooley.com/AGardenOfShawls

A Garden of Shawls
Book Review

 

Publisher: Occhi Blu Press

Author: Karen Whooley

Number of Pages: 92 pages

Number of Projects: 12 shawls

Types of Projects: Beautiful lacy shawls

Difficulty: The majority of the patterns are rated intermediate with a few rated easy.

Yarn Used: #0 (lace weight), #1 fingering (instructions on how to use other weight yarns).

First Impression: Gorgeous, airy, and lightweight! Perfect for spring & summer.

Favorite Design: Palisade (shown below) & Enchantment

 

Palisade Shawl from A Garden of Shawls by Karen Whooley - Crochet pattern book review & giveaway by Ambassador Crochet.Palisade


Enchantment

Review

Karen combined her love of Italian lace with interesting construction and the result is 12 gorgeous shawls. Each shawl has a different shape or contour, different stitch combos, as well as different fibers. The result is a garden of shawls that are stunning! Wear them for a special night on the town, or even just with your favorite pair of jeans. There is passion in every single design that Karen has put in this book.

Technical Review 

I absolutely love the fact that Karen tells you how you can use a heavier weight yarn (if you don’t want to use the finer yarns) and then gives instructions on how to make sure you can achieve the same size so you don’t end up with a ginormous shawl.

Karen has included notes on blocking your gauge swatches and shawls as well as thorough notes in each pattern. If you’re a more visual crocheter, there are charts for every pattern.

Giveaway

Thank you to Karen Whooley for offering to do a giveaway to my readers! One winner will receive a digital copy of A Garden of Shawls.

For a chance to win, head over to preview A Garden of Shawls and leave a comment telling me which shawl is your favorite. Drawing ends March 27th @ midnight.

Winner will be announced March 28th.

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium Book Review & Giveaway

I had the privilege of doing a book review of Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium! Sterling Publishing has also offered to do a giveaway to my readers, so reader below to find out how you can win a copy!

 

Edward's Crochet Imaginarium - Mix & Match to make over 1 million different monsters. Kids will love these! - Book review by Ambassador Crochet
*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.

 

Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium
Book Review

 

Publisher: Sterling Publishing

Author: Kerry Lord

Number of Pages: 96 pages

Number of Projects: Mix & Match to make over 1 million monsters!

Types of Projects: Monsters galore!

Difficulty: There are 3 different levels of difficulty based on stitches as well as technical aspects (decreasing, shaping, etc).

Yarn Used: Anything brand and size yarn you want.

Sizes: Finished sizes are based on the yarn and hook you choose. Kerry’s samples were as follows:

  • Small (fine weight) – approx. 7.8″
  • Standard (DK weight) – approx. 11″
  • Large (Aran weight) – approx. 15.75″
  • Giant (Chunky) – approx. 25.5″

First Impression: You’ll never run out of monster options!!! Plus, lots of details have been thought out and added throughout the book. – Example: Shows how using different weight yarns and hooks to create different size monsters.

 

Edward's Crochet Imaginarium - Mix & Match to make over 1 million different monsters. Kids will love these! - Book review by Ambassador Crochet

Edward's Crochet Imaginarium - Mix & Match to make over 1 million different monsters. Kids will love these! - Book review by Ambassador Crochet

 

Edward's Crochet Imaginarium - Mix & Match to make over 1 million different monsters. Kids will love these! - Book review by Ambassador Crochet

 

Review

 

Kids love monsters! They can be cute, fun, scary, colorful, or anything their imagination can conjure up. That’s why kids will love creating their own monsters from Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium. The book is made in flip form, so all the heads are stacked behind each other, all the bodies are together, and the legs feet are at the bottom. Flip each section to choose the head, body, and feet so you can see what your monster will look like. It’s fun for adults, and kids alike!

The instructions for each monster part are on the back of each photo. It’s up to you to decide what colors to use, and whether you want to add stripes, spots, or scales. You even have the option to sew on extras, like hair, eyes, horns, wings, or tails. Kerry Lord tells you what she mixed and matched to make her monsters, or you can create your own. There are 30 options to add to your creature. You will never run out of ideas!

 

Technical Review 

 

The layout of this book is great! All the body parts (head, body, feet/legs) are in flip book form. In addition to the flip section, it has a section on tails, as well as all kinds of color changes (spots, stripes, speckles, gradient changes). There are instructions on how to change the size of your monster, photo tutorials, and even a section on “stuffing and sewing”.

The section on sizing (using different yarn weights to create different size monsters) only had cm measurements. If you are in the USA you will need to convert those sizes to inches to know how big your monster will be.

Kids and adults will love the versatility of this book. It’s fun to see what kind of monster you want to create and then add your own personal touches to it.

 

Giveaway

 

Thank you to Sterling Publishing for offering a book to give away to my readers! (Winner must live in the US or Canada).

Leave a comment and let us know who you’d make your crochet monster for. Drawing ends March 23rd @ midnight.

Winner will be announced March 24th.

Happy Crocheting!

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

Slouch hats are easy, quick, and fun to make and these urban slouch hats are no different. You can make them in fun colors or subdued earthy tones. But whether you make them for yourself, or give them as gifts, they’re super popular. Check out this new Urban Slouch pattern book by Leisure Arts.

 

Urban Slouch Hats review - by Ambassador Crochet

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliate links.

 

Publisher: Leisure Arts

Author: Kristi Simpson

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Number of Projects: 10 patterns

Types of Projects: Slouch hats

Difficulty Ratings: All patterns are rated “easy”

Yarn Used: #4 worsted weight yarn

First Impression: Slouch hats are super popular, and these would make great Christmas gifts.

My Favorite Patterns: I had to go with “Intrigue” as my favorite. I love neutral colors.

 

Intrigue - Urban Slouch book review

Intrigue

 

Urban Slouch Hats

 

Hats are one of y favorite accessories to make. They’re quick and easy to make – ok, not always easy! But the hats in this book/leaflet are all rated easy! Urban slouch hats will fill that need for instant gratification and you’ll be able to wear something fashionable that will turn heads.

Kristi’s patterns are always super popular and fun to make. As always check your gauge so that you don’t have to rip it out if your project is coming out the wrong size.

Cobblestones hat - Urban Slouch book review bu Ambassador Crochet
Cobblestones

 

While all the pattern are rated easy, that doesn’t mean they’re boring. There are so many ways to customize your crochet. There is a help section with general information such as gauge, terms, and abbreviations.

Bonus: Every single pattern includes multiple links that will take you to online video tutorials for basic stitches, special stitches used, and techniques you may need help with. I believe this is an invaluable tool for those who are visual learners. 

 

Urban Slouch Hats


While all the hats have an urban slouch look, there are plenty of styles to choose from and you can customize with your own color(s). I’ve only shown you a few of my favorites but you can head over to the Leisure Art’s website and see the rest of the projects. Come back and tell me which one is your favorite.

 

Happy Crocheting!

  
*Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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Your Best Year 2017 Book Review

This week I’m stepping out from my normal crochet book review and doing a different kind of book review. Your Best Year 2017 is a workbook & creative planner, but it is also SO much more. If you struggle with being productive, staying on track, not getting discouraged, etc. this book is exactly what you need.

 

Your Best Year 2017 is a productivity workbook & creative business planner. Stay on track, boost your sales, be more productive, and so much more with this workbook. Best investment I make with my business (and personal life) every year.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliate links.

 

I found Marketing Creativity about 3 years ago when I was very close to giving up on my business. I was burnt out and wasn’t sure I had any more to give. The very first post I read from Lisa made me feel like she was an old friend. And the more I read her blog, the more it was obvious that she speaks to you in a down to earth tone, gives practical advice, and doesn’t make promises of getting you millions of sales or customers that just won’t happen.

With that being said, her workbook has put my business back on track. The first year I used it (Your Best Year 2015) I honestly didn’t use it to its fullest potential and I’m kicking myself now! This year (Your Best Year 2016) was my 2nd year using it and I’m already seeing a great return from the work I did put in. One of my main goals was to double my community of crochet readers and go from 10k readers (over all social media accounts) to 20k in one year. As of right now I’m on target to actually hit that goal! My tech editing income will come close to doubling what it was in 2015 also.

What seemed impossible back in January will now be a reality come December. Lisa’s workbook guides you through your biggest goals and dreams in order to make them a reality. My only regret….I should have made bigger goals, and reached for bigger stars – but they just seemed too big, audacious, and unrealistic at the time.

 

Your Best Year 2017

 

Planning for a successful year with the Your Best Year 2017 creative planner and workbook.

 

The new and updated yby2017 is full of new prompts to help you review 2016, get you thinking about your goals for 2017, and activities to make sure you accomplish those goals and stay on task. Lisa’s also added a time management worksheet (I need this one most!), a “getting your goals” section, as well as sections to work through about being vulnerable, building trust, and breaking through limitations – to name just a few. There are also action steps you can take, progress logs to show you how far you’ve come, and my favorite – the abundance tracker. I started using the abundance tracker when Lisa first mentioned it a few months ago. It’s truly amazing to see where my income comes from daily and for me I’ve learned to set smaller daily income goals as well as a yearly overall income goal.

 

Creatives aren’t all Business

 

But honestly, I think the best part of this business planner is that it isn’t all business. As a creative entrepreneur our home life and our business end up blending together. Without us even realizing it the lines can get fuzzy and the two become one entity sometimes. So, instead of fighting it, Lisa’s workbook has us consider both together. Genius! This book is 138 pages of strategies and actionable steps to help you meet every business and personal goal you have.

 

To be fully honest in my review…

 

I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I first opened the planner and realized the monthly overview calendars are gone this year. I had started using my yby2016 as my monthly blog planner in addition to everything else it had to offer. But the more I dug into this new version, the more I realized it is fully worth going back to a separate monthly calendar. This year’s version is pure business building strategies that have left me feeling like anything is possible. 

 

Do What Scares You…..

 

Never again will I sell myself short by not believing in myself. I worked through the exercise of writing down how much I wanted to make, how to get there, etc. When I saw the numbers I doubted myself. It seemed too out of reach. I saw the goals I did stick with come true, so I won’t make the same mistake twice.

This year I’m reaching for the moon! Even if I don’t hit it, I’ll land among the stars. 

I guarantee if you purchase this planner, and use it to it’s fullest potential, you will not be disappointed. It will be the best $20 you spend, as you will reap long term investments.

 

Happy Planning!

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

If I had to pick one look, one technique, a favorite crochet stitch, I would easily choose cable crochet. There are so many options that you can easily change the entire look of a project with just a few tweaks of the cable. Whether you’re new to cable crochet or you have experience and are looking for some fresh, new patterns you’ll want to check out this book.

 

Cable Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliate links.

 

Publisher: Interweave

Author: Bonnie Barker

Number of Pages: 127 pages

Number of Projects: 18 patterns

Types of Projects: Garments and accessories.

Difficulty Ratings: Confident Beginner, Intermediate

Yarn Used: #1, #3, #4, #5, and #6

First Impression: I love cables! They’re gorgeous, versatile, and add so much depth and personality to a project.

My Favorite Patterns: This was such a hard decision, so I narrowed it down to two…. I chose the Lavena poncho (cover photo) as my favorite cable pattern. The variety of cable stitches Bonnie used go perfect together. Then I chose the Emerald Celtic Weave Infinity Scarf as my favorite project because it’s just perfect. From the color of the yarn to the stitches used, it’s something I would wear every day.

 

Celtic Cable Crochet

 

Emerald Celtic Weave Infinity Scarf - Cable Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet
Emerald Celtic Weave Infinity Scarf

 

Review: After Bonnie came out with Contemporary Celtic Crochet I didn’t think I would ever find another crochet book I loved as much and then, along came Celtic Cable Crochet. Bonnie has brought those visual celtic cables to life through crochet, and now they’re no longer just for knitters. My favorite, overall reaction is that I love these projects because they are all practical things you would wear everyday – mixed with cables of course.

 

Aranmore Sweater Wrap - Cable Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet
Aranmore Sweater Wrap

 

Tech Review:

While almost all these patterns are rated intermediate, don’t let that scare you away. The patterns are well written and thorough. Each pattern has notes and lists which cable stitches are used so you can look in the back reference to see if it’s something you’d like to tackle. There are 8 pages of basic stitches (including post stitches) with full color photos to help you get started. There are also 22 pages of special stitches that all include step by step photos. The help section just goes above and beyond to make sure your project will be successful. There is also general information such as gauge, terms, and abbreviations.

 

Blue Moon Shawl - Cable Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet
Blue Moon Shawl

From boot cuffs and wrist warmers, to scarves and sweaters, there is something in this book for anyone and everyone. I’ve only shown you a few of my favorites. You can head over to Interweave’s website and see the rest of the projects. I would love for you to come back and tell me which project is your favorite.

 

Happy Crocheting!

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