Category Archives: giveaway

Beastly Crochet: Book Review and Giveaway

Beastly Crochet by Brenda K.B. Anderson

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During her day job, Brenda designs costumes for Sesame Street live and various sports teams mascots. Her professional expertise shines through in Beastly Crochet, with 23 colorful, quirky projects with include small details that take them up a notch. There’s a wide variety of projects, including garments, accessories, and toys, but it’s the last chapter, Special Topics, that may be most valuable for crocheters who want to learn how to make finished pieces that express their own personalities.

Patterns are written, using North American terminology. Garments include schematics, colorwork charts are provided for relevant projects, and some diagrams for embroidery and embellishment are included. Helpful notes are given for each pattern, with tips on techniques and yarn substitution as needed (for example: “if you are planning on substituting yarn, know that this yarn is a heavier worsted weight and is a bit stiffer than some worsted weight yarns”).  Accessible for adventurous beginners and intermediate level crocheters.

One copy of Beastly Crochet is being given away here on the Knit Edge blog! The book giveaway runs from August 20 – 25, 2014, and is open to US residents. Enter to win by commenting with what your favorite color for a monster is (or make one up – this is just so we can filter out the spam robots).

See all the projects on Ravelry: Beastly Crochet

Beastly Crochet
By Brenda K. Anderson
Interweave/F+W Media; $18.05
bit.ly/17mTKo2

Powell’s and Amazon links below are affiliate links; Cooperative Press receives a small percentage of each sale made via those links.

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Beam N Read: Product Review and Giveaway

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Beam N Read Hands Free Light

In issue 6 of Knit Edge magazine, the Beam N Read Hands Free Light is recommended in The Right Tools for the Craftivism Job (pages 58 – 59) as a way to have a focused beam of light directly on your work. Beam N Read is giving away one of these lights, and you can enter by leaving a comment below letting us know where you’d use a hands free reading light. This giveaway is open from August 13 – 18, 2014, for US residents.

This giveaway is now closed. 

Arm Knitting: Book Review and Giveaway

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I’ve seen a lot of books and articles that promise you a quick project, or a great way to use up single skeins and oddballs. Many of these projects are either very small (like a baby hat) or consider a weekend to be plenty of time for “quick.” Within an hour after reading Arm Knitting, I’d made a wrap, using yarn from my
stash. I was aiming for a cowl, but I had so much fun it wound up being too long! Now that I’ve got the technique (the step-by-step photos are nice and big and easy to follow), I think I’m going to try making the Shaped Shawl.

This technique is the super quick, major stashbuster I can really use right now, and Mary Beth explains it all really clearly. The projects are fun, and all use Lion Brand Yarn (easy to find at craft stores). You could whip up a scarf as a grad gift in favorite team or school colors in an hour, start to finish! Mary Beth also has video tutorials that walk you through the techniques, including Arm Knitting for Knitters [http://youtu.be/l7K82FryVpc], in which she uses familiar knitting terminology (arm knitting is just different enough to be confusing).

Design Originals is giving away a copy of Arm Knitting, and you can enter to win from August 6 – 15, 2014. Enter by leaving a comment on when you need a really quick to make gift (so we know you aren’t a spambot). Open to US residents. This giveaway is now closed.

Arm Knitting: How to Make a 30-Minute Infinity Scarf and Other Great Projects
Mary Beth Temple
ISBN 978-1-57421-945-6
Paperback $9.99
May 2014

 

 

Lotus Yarn – Things We Love Giveaway

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This review appears in issue 5 of Knit Edge magazine. Designing Vashti provided the yarn for review and for this giveaway.

Vashti Braha and Doris Chan, the dream team behind Designing Vashti, have created a dream yarn: Lotus. If you read Vashti’s newsletter and blog, you know she puts a lot of thought into how a yarn works with a particular stitch and in a particular project. Lotus is a machine-washable, z-twisted sport weight blend of cotton and rayon, currently available in 14 colors (neutrals, strong pastels, and deep jewel tones). The rayon strands lend a shiny gleam to the matte cotton, for a rich color effect best seen in person.

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When I saw the photos and read Vashti’s explanation of how the yarn had been designed, my fingers were already twitching with eagerness to start crocheting with it immediately. Vashti sent me three balls of yarn so there would be enough to do a giveaway with, and when I opened the box, I’ll admit that I briefly considered keeping two balls and giving away only one. You’ll be happy to know that I managed to keep my hands off the giveaway yarn, and you can enter for a chance to win right here! Leave a comment on this post, saying what you think you would make with this yarn, and a winner will be chosen with a random number generator on March 31, 2014. This is open to international readers too! [NOTE: Giveaway is now closed – thank you to all who entered!]

The one concern I had while looking at it was that the plies looked loose enough to be splitty while crocheting, and I kept that in mind when I selected hooks to swatch with (aluminum Boye, aluminum Bates, and wood/bamboo hooks in the recommended hook sizes F/3.75mm and G/4.5mm). The verdict? This just may be the yarn you didn’t know you were looking for, especially if you make garments. It’s a pleasure to crochet with, sliding smoothly over your hands and hook, and is wonderful for making next-to-the-skin soft projects. It has just enough body to hold lace stitches clearly while being soft enough to drape beautifully. For crocheted scarves, shawls, tunics, and skirts, this is a winner. Aluminum hooks worked just fine for my swatching, but the yarn is on the slippery side, so you may prefer the grip of a wood or bamboo hook, as long as the inside of the hook is very smoothly sanded (I had a minor problem with a handmade wooden hook that caught and snagged a bit, fixed by sanding it with a nail file). Although Lotus is a yarn designed by a crocheter for crocheters, you can of course knit and weave with this too. On US 6 birch needles, Lotus moved smoothly and produced a stockinette fabric with nice stitch definition.

You can buy Lotus online on the Designing Vashti website, and they are offering a color sample pack (all 14 colors, 45” of each) and a color sample kit (includes a pattern set to make small jewelry charms) in addition to pre-wound balls of Lotus Yarn and patterns that work well with it.

For more information, you can read the Designing Vashti newsletter about Lotus Yarn, and visit the Designing Vashti Pinterest Board for Lotus Yarn for lots of photos and links to projects.

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