Thursday, 20 February 2014

Happy Holiday Reads

Thank you to the beautiful and thoughtful angel who sent me some lovely holiday reading.

Teeny Tiny Crochet: 35 adorably small projects
by Catherine Hirst
(Cico Books, an imprint of
Peters & Small, London, UK, 2012)

The same special angel sent me a book of the cutest crochet patterns for Christmas in 2012, Teeny Tiny Crochet by Catherine Hirst (which I reviewed here).

I know a junior angel who would enjoy some of these teeny tiny crocheted friends so I am keen to make some this year (while I am not overrun with beanies and berets).

Meanwhile, during December 2013, a surprise parcel arrived after travelling across the country. It waited quietly under the Christmas tree until it was ready to be unwrapped on Christmas Day.

With delight, I discovered that inside was a classic crochet read  Hooked for Life by Mary Beth Temple.

Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot by Mary Beth Temple
(Andrews McMeel Publishing LLC, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, 2009)
Hooked for Life is a collection of essays which touches on just about every crochet topic I have ever come across in the last decade. If it isn't mentioned in Hooked for Life, I doubt it is worth mentioning. Mary Beth Temple herself describes the book as

"a celebration of what crochet is to those of us who love it."
What a treat to curl up on the couch and settle into reading a book about crochet which wasn't full of patterns or technical instructions alone.

I could get lost in my own crochet headspace, immersing myself in crochet culture, while acquainting myself with the author's mixture of humourous and serious accounts and anecdotes.

I found myself emphatically agreeing with Mary Beth Temple's observations which mirror many of my own.

I intended to extend the enjoyment as long as possible by reading only one chapter at a time, but the narrative was so amusing and relevant to my own crochet experience that I couldn't help but read it cover-to-cover within 48 hours!

My only problem with the book is the paperback cover material. It is a matt, textured paper, with a white doily image, on top of which is embossed title text.

The combination of light colours and textured paper is a sure recipe for picking up dirt and becoming grubby in no time with all of the repeated readings it will receive from me!

My answer has been to cover the book to keep it clean but sourcing the non-adhesive clear book covering plastic has been a problem of its own!  It has been very hard to find these days. Stationers want to sell only the adhesive plastic which I loathe because it damages books in the long term. I was surprised that even the biggest stationers about town did not stock rolls of non-adhesive covering even though we are in the throes of back-to-school sales.

Mary Beth Temple is 'multi-craftual' but a keen crochet advocate, writer, designer and former host of crochet podcast Getting Loopy.  If you would like to know more about her you can visit her "little crafty corner of the internet" Hooked for Life Publishing website or her blog, Addicted to Alpaca.

The Underground Crafter,  Marie Segares, published an excellent interview with Mary Beth Temple on 25 March 2013 which has many more links and references. You can read the interview here.

The interview includes discussion of Mary Beth Temple's more recent book Curvy Girl Crochet: 25 Patterns that Fit and Flatter which is all about garment design for crocheters, similar to Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog which is all about garment design for knitters. 

I have not had a look at Curvy Girl Crochet for two reasons: firstly, I haven't had a chance to get my hands on a copy and, secondly, it is described as a book for full-figured women.

While this is an important segment of the crochet market from which there is demand for such a book, I am very petite and definitely not full-figured! I am sure it would be an educational read in general and useful for crocheting garments for other people.  I would hope that the theory within the book could be applied to crocheters of other figure types. 

If you have read this book I would love your opinion.

In the meantime, you can explore the links below while I dip into the 'crochet zealot's adventures' once again. It seems I, too, am Hooked for Life!

Again, a special thank you to my thoughtful, generous friend for touching my heart with the perfect gift. You truly are an angel.

Links & Further Information

Addicted to Alpaca, Mary Beth Temple's blog: <>

Getting Loopy, podcast, Blogtalkradio: <>, Podbean: <>.

Herzog, Amy, "Knit to Flatter", ISBN 978-1-61769-017-4 (paperback), Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of ABRAMS, 115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011, USA , 2013,  <>.

Hirst, Catherine, Teeny Tiny Crochet: 35 adorably small projects, Cico Books, an imprint of Ryland Peters & Small, London, UK, 2012, <>.

Hooked for Life Publishing: <>.

Lupey Loops, "Coincidentally, I Found It", blog entry, 22 January 2014, <> for a review of Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog.

Lupey Loops, "A Crochet Christmas", blog entry, 29 December 2012, <> for a review of Teeny Tiny Crochet by Catherine Hirst.

Segares, Marie, "Interview with Mary Beth Temple", Underground Crafter blog,  <>.

Temple, Mary Beth, Curvy Girl Crochet:  25 Patterns that Fit and Flatter,  2013, <>.

Temple, Mary Beth, Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot, ISBN-10: 0-7407-7812-9, ISBN-13: 9780-7407-7812-4, Andrews McMeel Publishing LLC, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, 2009, <>.

Underground Crafter: Needlecrafts, Handmade Creativity, and Other Good Stuff, blog:  <>


  1. Looks like some nice books. Perhaps your local library might be able to tell you where to source the non adhesive covering. I know that the books with dust jackets still get covered with that rather than contact.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I did visit my library but the librarian couldn't help because they do not do their own book covering anymore - it has all been centralised and the library receives its books already covered. The librarian did say that it had been harder for their own branch to source the book covering (before the job was outsourced) and wished me luck. I managed to find some small rolls in a back-to-school sale but haven't seen larger rolls for a long time. I am also a big fan of lining paper jackets with brown paper before adding the plastic. That way, any tape etc. adheres to the brown paper, leaving the paper jacket and end papers unspoilt.