Someone must have told everyone that I like to crochet! This Christmas I received a number of thoughtful crochet-related gifts–a mix of reading material, yarn and equipment (clockwise from top left):
- Crochet Today! magazine (USA). Nov/Dec 2012 issue with projects themed according to holiday crafting, the latest James Bond film and textured yarns. For those of you who have never done tricot before (Tunisian crochet), there is a beginner's tutorial to get you started with 'Tunisian simple stitch', also known as 'afghan stitch'.
This is an American publication and uses USA crochet terminology. Fortunately, variations in tricot/Tunisian terminology seem to be less of an issue across continents–recent periodicals from both UK and USA have been reasonably consistent; although I have seen two different methods of charting tricot patterns.
You may have noticed that I prefer to use the term 'tricot' instead of 'Tunisian' I was first introduced to the technique as 'tricot'. It's the name my mother learned many years ago and it has been known in Australia as tricot for a long time. I use the terms interchangeably since 'Tunisian' is becoming very common in recent publications.
- "Teeny Tiny Crochet: 35 adorably small projects" by Catherine Hirst (UK). Delightfully written in a storybook fashion, this book is infused with Catherine Hirst's sense of fun as she describes the teeniest, cutest little creatures to make. Most of them are made with size 5 thread, a perfect scale for amigurumi, although there is nothing stopping you from making them in a larger weight yarn. If you like doll houses and miniatures, you will love the amigurumi friends to be found in this book. I have a UK edition, an imprint of Ryland Peters & Small Ltd in London, which is great because we use the same terminology in Australia as in the UK.
- "Crafty Christmas" pattern booklet. (AUS) A lovely surprise from Australian Country Spinners/Panda yarn. Refer to blog post "Crafty Christmas Surprises" of 21 December 2012
- Frog Tree "Ewetopia" yarn. This is a fair trade Peruvian merino blend which is extremely soft and warm with a lot of spring and 'memory'–it will bounce back to its shape after being stretched. It is a blend of machine washable and fine merino, supplied by Queenslander Prudence Mapstone who is famous for her 'scrumbling' techniques to create freeform crochet and knitting.
Prudence sources her yarn from all over the world and shares the best of them through her website "Knot Just Knitting" which has links to her online shops on CraftUmi (Australia) and Etsy (USA). After using "Ewetopia" at a workshop with Prudence, I fell in love with it so four skeins can be two scarves or maybe something bigger! (Can you sense the ambition building?) http://www.frogtreeyarns.com/ewetopia/
- A tricot (Tunisian) hook with a flexible cord (size 5.5 mm). Made from bamboo and also supplied by Prudence Mapstone; I have been looking for these types of tricot hooks for ages! I have a bunch of straight tricot hooks, both wooden and from aluminium, but I like the lightness of bamboo and the extra length of the cord–it makes for longer rows and is kinder to the body because the weight of the crochet can rest in my lap instead of putting a strain on my arms.
- Another little surprise! Decorated buttons thrown in as a small gift by Prudence. Whenever the craft fair comes to town, my youngest daughter goes on a hunt for extraordinary buttons. Although the buttons were not part of the yarn order, Prudence left a little note "someone you know might find a use for them." Isn't she a sweetheart?
- "100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet" by Lesley Stanfield. I love this book! I don't know how many times I have borrowed it from my library. It is well thought out to be used as a ready reference. It is organised so that one can browse for patterns according to flower/type/picture, browse through only knitted patterns or only crocheted patterns, and then those sections are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced patterns so one can browse according to skill level. Now I can happily keep this book on my shelf permanently. http://www.searchpress.com/book/9781844484034/100-flowers-to-knit-crochet
Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been such a busy holiday season but I haven't forgotten about the 'Fab Four' project. I will begin the saga...er...story in the new year. In the meantime, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR (cheer, throw streamers, wave glow toys and sparklers) and I'll catch you next year! 2013!