Sweet Baby Crochet Book Review

Sweet Baby Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet
Sweet Baby 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.

Sweet Baby Crochet Book Review

 

Publisher: Martingale

Author: Sandy Scoville and Denise Black

Number of Pages: 96 pages

Number of Projects: 23 projects; some projects have more than one pattern associated with them (ex: hat & booties, dress and bonnet, etc.)

Types of Projects: Everything baby… (dresses, jacket, bonnet, bibs, booties, hat, sweaters & blankets/afghans)

Difficulty: Easy, Intermediate, Experienced – The majority of the patterns are listed as intermediate, but there is definitely a good mix of easy & intermediate, with two labeled experienced.

Yarn Used: #2, #3, #4 & #5

First Impression: Most of these would make great baby shower gifts.

My Favorite Project Pick: Party Ruffles Dress – Dainty, yet practical. Beautiful dress for new baby girl.

 

Sweet Baby Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet

Party Ruffles Dress

 

Review: The very first thing that stood out to me was that the patterns with sizes are color coded. I love this! I eliminates the need for trying to figure out which stitch count goes with which size. Just remember what color you’re crocheting. Perfect!

The garment projects come in 3 sizes (6, 12, & 18 months). Not all projects come in all 3 sizes. Blankets range in size, but are all infant/toddler size. The smallest is 33″ x 36″ – the largest is 44″ x 50″. are condensed well and written in the easiest form possible. If you like to know exactly which yarns are used for projects (and not just what weight yarn is used) there is a Yarn Information section in the back of the book. Leisure Arts has included general information (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well as basic stitch visuals you may need.

Bonus: There are over 2 dozen 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. 

 

Sweet Baby Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet

Gingerbread Hat & Booties

 

If you’re looking for a variety of baby projects that stretch you a little beyond the “easy” category, this would be a good book to try. You can check out more pics, or pic up your copy here: Sweet Baby Crochet on Amazon.

 

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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One Skein Baby Projects Book Review

One Skein Baby Projects by Sharon Silverman - book review & giveawayOne Skein Baby Projects

*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.

 

Publisher: Leisure Arts

Author: Sharon Silverman

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Number of Projects: 9 individual patterns; some with variations (the blocks have different versions)

Types of Projects: Toys & accessories (bibs, booties, hat, & more)

Difficulty: Easy, Easy+, Intermediate – I’m going to assume Easy+ is an easy rating with an addition that may not be “easy” for everyone, but it’s not enough to include it in the intermediate category.

  • Easy – Projects using basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping.
  • Intermediate – Projects with a variety of stitches, such as basic cables and lace, simple intarsia, double-pointed needles and knitting in the round needle techniques, mid-level shaping and finishing.

Yarn Used: #3 & #4

First Impression: Quick projects that would be great for baby showers or last minute gift making.

My Favorite Project Pick: Pretzel Rattle – babies love color, so I had to go with this as a favorite.

 

One Skein Baby Projects by Sharon Silverman - book review & giveawayPretzel Rattle

 

Review: The very first thing that stood out to me was that the patterns with sizes are color coded. I love this! I eliminates the need for trying to figure out which stitch count goes with which size. Just remember what color you’re crocheting. Perfect!

The projects are condensed well and written in the easiest form possible. If you like to know exactly which yarns are used for projects (and not just what weight yarn is used) there is a Yarn Information section in the back of the book. Leisure Arts has included general information (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well as basic stitch visuals you may need.

Bonus: There are over 2 dozen 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. 

 

One Skein Baby Projects by Sharon Silverman - book review & giveawaySnow Bear Lovey

 

If you’re looking for quick (and mostly easy) patterns this would be a great addition to your crochet book library.

Leisure Arts has offered to give away a copy of the book to one of my readers. To enter please head over to Leisure Arts and then come back and leave a comment telling me which project is your favorite. Giveaway closes at midnight on 4/14/16. Winner will be announced 4/15/16.

 

Happy Crocheting!

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

 

Crochet Geometry by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby book reviewAll images used with permission.
Photography by  Shibaguyz Photography. All rights reserved.

 

Crochet Geometry Book Review

 

Publisher: Lark Crafts

Author: Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby of Shibaguyz Designz

Number of Pages: 114 pages

Number of Projects: 15 designs

Types of Projects: Sweaters, pullovers, shrugs, and wraps.

Difficulty: Easy, Intermediate, Experienced

NOTE: Usually pattern books lean toward one rating and then have a couple of the other ratings thrown in there to attract other levels of crocheters. This book has an excellent mix of all 3 of these levels!

  • Easy – Projects using basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping.
  • Intermediate – Projects with a variety of stitches, such as basic cables and lace, simple intarsia, double-pointed needles and knitting in the round needle techniques, mid-level shaping and finishing.
  • Experienced – Projects with intricate stitch patterns, techniques and dimension, such as non-repeating patterns, multi-color techniques, fine threads, small hooks, detailed shaping and refined finishing.

The book did not include the ratings descriptions. I used info from the Craft Yarn Council website.

Yarn Used: #1, #2, #3, & #4

Sizes: Small to 5X

First Impression: YES! Thank you, Shibaguyz for using real-world size models. Kudos!

My Favorite Project Pick: I had a couple favorites, but I love cables so I have to pick “5 Easy Pieces” as my top choice.

 

Crochet Geometry by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby book review
5 Easy Pieces 

 

Review: I love the concept! You begin with basic shapes – rectangles, circles, triangles – then you sew them together. By doing it this way you have minimal shaping, which is great for someone who is new to making garments. With just the right amount of drape and style you can create stunning projects. From lace to texture there is something for everyone.

Whether you need help deciding which project is right for you, or tips for picking out the right yarn for that project, Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby has you covered. The patterns are written in industry standards so there’s no guessing what the designer means. There is an abbreviations list, a conversion chart, and symbol charts and schematics (measurement diagrams) for everything! The book also includes a special techniques section, blocking help, photos and so much more.

 

Half Circle Cardigan - Crochet Geometry
Half Circle Cardigan

 


Sleeve Shrug - Crochet Geometry
Sleeve Shrug

 

 

Two Circles Wrap - Crochet Geometry

 

Two Circle Wrap

 

If you’re looking to try garments and need help stepping out into new crochet territory, I suggest giving this book a try. I’ve only shown you a few of my favorites.

To see more project photos check it out on Amazon here: Crochet Geometry: Geometric Patterns to Fit and Flatter

Happy Crocheting!

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

Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet Book Review

Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet Book Review

 

*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.

 

Publisher: Stackpole Books

Author: Brenda Bourg

Number of Pages: 102 pages

Number of Projects: 16 patterns

Types of Projects: Cowls, sweaters, headbands, cuffs, afghans and more.

Difficulty: Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced with a very good mix of each level.

Yarn Used: #3 & #4

First Impression: This is a great alternative to those who love look of knitting, but don’t know how to knit.

My Favorite Project Pick: Elisha Afghan

Elisha Afghan - Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet book reviewElisha Afghan

Review: There is something about the look of knitting that I love. Don’t you agree? But, if you’re like me and you don’t know how to knit, this is a great alternative!

Tech Review: ***Because the focus of my blog is now more behind-the-scenes, pattern based, I have decided to have my reviews come from that perspective. I love tech editing and want to start adding that perspective as well.***  

The book contains actual photographs of the stitch steps, which I love. This is so much help to anyone knew to this technique. There are also sections on substituting yarn, reading charts, carrying colors, tension, and so much more. In addition to the actual photos they also included general information (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well blocking tips and more.

If you’re unsure of these patterns because of all the color changes, let me assure you that you’ll be in good hands. Brenda has a color graph for each and every pattern in the book. Whether you’re a visual/chart crocheter, or new to Tunisian, you will definitely benefit from the added bonus.

My favorite part of the “extras” in this book is actually the color wheel. There is an actual color wheel as well as tips on how to pick colors for working fair isle patterns.  I’ve never seen this done and I thought it was an excellent addition to the overall concept of the book.

Annabel Bag - Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet book reviewAnnabel Bag

Emily Headband - Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet book reviewEmily Headband

Brenda put a lot of time into the fair isle designs of these projects. If you love Tunisian, or are just a fan of knitting and want to give Tunisian a try, there are an array of projects for you to choose from. I showed you just a few of my favorites. You can find more info about Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet here.

**Toni was the winner of the giveaway.**

Happy Crocheting!

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

Crochet a Farm book reviewAll images from Crochet a Farm by Megan Kreiner, Martingale, 2015; used by permission.
Photography by Brent Kane. All rights reserved.

*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.

Publisher: Martingale

Author: Megan Kreiner of MK Crochet

Number of Pages: 80 pages

Number of Projects: 19 patterns total

Types of Projects: Farm animals (many have both adult and baby sizes included – ex: both ducks & ducklings patterns available) and farm items (hay, milking bucket, veggies, etc)

Difficulty:

easyintermediate

  • Easy – Projects using basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping.
  • Intermediate – Projects with a variety of stitches, such as basic cables and lace, simple intarsia, double-pointed needles and knitting in the round needle techniques, mid-level shaping and finishing.

Yarn Used: #3, #4, & #6

Sizes: 1.5″ – 6″ tall; no sizes given for the veggies

First Impression: Lots of detail, even on the small items.

My Favorite Project Pick: Horse (6″ tall) and rooster (3″ tall).

Crochet a Farm book reviewHorse & Foal

Review: Kids love farm animals and Megan delivers on a cuteness factor with these. Megan made these look very realistic instead of amigurumi or cartoon-ish. They are the perfect size for little hands. (Eyes with safety backs are recommended in the book.)

Tech Review: ***Because the focus of my blog is now more behind-the-scenes, pattern based I have decided to have my reviews come from that perspective. I love tech editing and want to start adding that perspective as well.***  

While the patterns are well written, the format is slightly different to what I am used to. For instance, the pattern may say: “sc 3, sc 2 in next st”. While this is not wrong, I would be more inclined to have it read, “sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st”. For me, the “sc 3” would not necessarily be clear to someone just starting out. Please note: This is not wrong, nor is it bad. It’s just my preference and perspective. I have heard through the industry people who don’t like patterns written this way, so I’m just pointing it out.

The only thing I wished would have been different (but it’s definitely not detrimental to the patterns) is that the skill levels and finished sizes aren’t always in the same place. On single patterns (donkey) it’s in the banner at the top of the page. One the patterns where there are multiples (rooster, hen, chicks) the skill levels and sizes are in the materials list for each project. Again, not a show stopper, just something I was aware of.

The benefits are that there are tons of graphics and photos for placement of pieces (eyes, ears, tails, etc), which I think is super helpful. Martingale has included general information (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well as templates for the felt pieces.

Crochet a Farm book reviewCows

Crochet a Farm book reviewFruits & Veggies

Overall a great pattern book if you love animals. I’ve only shown you a few of my favorites. You can go to Crochet a Farm: 19 Cute-as-Can-Be Barnyard Creations for more project photos. 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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New Year for a New You – Day 7 – Making a Plan

Just start - It's time to stop talking and start doing. Getting your resolutions started with Ambassador Crochet.This past week has been eye opening and exciting as I begin to plan for this year. But one thing I realized was that I know what I don’t want to do, I know what direction I want to go, but I am holding back. I want things to be all planned out and perfect. What I really need to do is . . . . .

About a month ago I read the post – How to Erase Blogging Headaches with an Editorial Calendar. It gave tips and ideas on how to make a workable editorial calendar (meaning you’ll actually use it). From that post I gleaned that my approach has been wrong. I know I want to post, I even have post ideas, but I have no direction or idea of what to do when. I get overwhelmed with my schedule, other priorities take over, and my blog takes a back seat. Add this to my feeling the need for perfection and, well, no wonder my blog has been neglected. Not this year!

New Year for a New You

Making a Plan

* 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!

I truly want a thriving business. As I evaluated my year and my business I had to ask myself “Why?” My business of selling patterns started to help pay for my girls dance classes (5 girls, 5 days a week at the studio, 4 of them on the competition team….you get the idea).

But it has snowballed into so much more than that. Not only do I love crochet, but I truly love what I do. I love crocheting and creating new patterns, I helping people, and I love editing. But I also genuinely love behind the scenes work. I worked wholesale for most of my adult life before becoming a SAHM, and I loved it. So I decided it was time to combine that wholesale mentality with my crochet business.

Here is some of what you can expect this year:

  • How to read a pattern – I will be digging into terminology and more.
  • How to write a pattern – If you’ve ever wanted to write a pattern, whether for your own personal use or for sale, I’ll help you with some of the ins and outs of that process.
  • Book & Designers Reviews – I will still be doing book reviews and designer reviews but they will now be from a behind the scenes perspective.
  • How to stay/get in shape when you’re a crocheter – I believe the more we (as crocheters) sit still, the more unhealthy we become. I want to help motivate the crochet community to take care of themselves.

There will be much more but this will be my starting point. Your Best Year 2016 planner has been exactly what I needed to re-ignite my passion and help me realize how to fine-tune my niche.

 

Making a Plan

The very first goal I want to make is to do a monthly goal setting (yes I have a goal to set goals because accountability works wonders). I’m going to post my monthly goals and then on then at the beginning of every month I will review the previous month and set new goals for the coming month. Here we go:

JANUARY GOALS:

  1. Create my opt-in freebie that I’ve been planning forever.
  2. Create 1 new pattern to publish.
  3. Finish and publish 1 unfinished pattern.
  4. Post 2 new blog posts/week, every week in Jan. (8 total)
  5. Grow my crochet readership from 1,100 to 1,500.
  6. Grow my Pinterest followers from 1,332 to 2,000.
  7. Grow Facebook followers from 6,432 to 7,000.
  8. Grow Twitter followers from 489 to 1,000.
  9. Continue to work through Your Best Year 2016 planner.
  10. Finish unpacking my school/work room. (while this isn’t necessarily work, it will give me more space to think clearly without unfinished business looming over me.)

If you’d like to work through this review with us, you can purchase Your Best Year 2016 here. It has been eye opening and life/business changing for me and I am looking forward to what 2016 has in store.

To read the rest of my New Year for a New You posts:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

I’m looking forward to an amazing year!

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