Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Library Haul

The library had some great crochet and knitting books this week!
I brought home three…

Three books stacked horizontally on the shelf.
Their titles are (from top to bottom) "Long Legged Friends", "Crochet One-Skein Wonders" and "Weekend Hats"

The projects on offer in these books are inspiring me!
So many cool projects to make, and all of them small and portable.

Long-Legged Friends: Crochet Creatures to Create and Cuddle, Hisako & Shizue Okawa, ISBN 978-1-4494-1751-2, Andrews McMeel Publishing LLC, (Kansas City, Sydney, London), 1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City Missouri 64106, USA, 2012.

Previously published as:
Shiro To Kuro No Amigurumi, Hisako & Shizue Okawa, Educational Foundation Bunka Gakuen Bunka Publishing Bureau, Japan, 2009

Lots of cute, friendly creatures, just as the title suggests: rabbits, cats, bears, birds, a bull, pig and poodle; worked in plain, fuzzy and boucle yarns, together with their 'travelling clothes'. 

For amigurumi beginners, there is a page about the "Anatomy of a Long-legged Friend" with some great hints about finishing your crocheted friends. 

This book uses diagrams and crochet symbols to chart each piece. The crocheter is encouraged to be creative and use the charts as a guide and inspiration. There are plenty of detailed written notes about the process but no specific row-by-row/round-by-round instructions. 

I would recommend this book for people who have had some experience with amigurumi and reading charts, and who are ready to experiment with designing their own "Long-legged Friends".

Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects from Crocheters Around the World, edited by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman, 1st printing, ISBN 978-1-61212-042-3, www.storey.com, Storey Publishing LLC, 210 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247, USA, 2013

What a fabulous mix of projects for hands, heads and homes. Gifts for adults, children and babies with clothes, toys, shawls, scarves, cowls, footwear, jewellery, bags and more. I was delighted to find a pattern by my friend Caissa 'Cami' McClinton (Three-Round Scarf) of Art, Like Bread blog. She is in good company with 60 other contributing crochet designers. (You will also find Caissa as a regular contributor to Crochet Spot).

Patterns are in written format and supported by symbol charts. Organised by yarn weight, there is such a variety of projects, if you can't find a pattern for your single skein, then there must be something wrong with you!

This book is perfect for stash busting and gift-giving alike (not to mention the instant gratification of smaller projects). It affords one the chance to play with expensive fibres because one skein is all that is required. We needn't break the bank to enjoy a little luxury!

Weekend Hats: 25 knitted caps, berets, cloches and more, Cecily Glowik MacDonald & Melissa Labarre, ISBN 978-1-59668-438-6, Interweave Press LLC, interweave.com, 201 E. 4th St, Loveland, CO 80537, USA, 2011

As suggested by the title, every pattern in this book is a knitted hat. Most of them are variations of the beanie, cloche and beret. Cables, fair isle, lace and felting are some of the techniques to be found in this selection by 19 different knit designers.  It has some creative ideas including use of welts, ruching, buttons and bands; it would be great for extending your repertoire of knitting skills.

Only three or four of the designs are specifically for males. I don't know why this is – boys and men want warm heads in winter too!  Is it just me, or is there a dearth of suitable patterns for men in general?  I suppose some of the designs can be suitable for men too by adjusting the size and colours but almost all of the patterns presented in this book were modelled by women.

For crocheters, there are original design features to inspire. For knitters, this book will keep you busy for quite a while and give you a great collection of stylish hats to wear and give as gifts. 

Out of all of these books, the one I love the most and definitely want 
on my craft bookshelf is:

Crochet One-Skein Wonders

I have always enjoyed the knitted "One-Skein Wonders" series and it is about time that the crochet version was published!

This is a great book for finding take-along projects since they only use one skein of yarn. I am sure there will be something in here that I can work on while in hospital thus solving my dilemma presented in the "Packing for Hospital" blog entry (7 December 2014) .


Art, Like Bread, blog: http://www.artlikebread.com/

Crochet Spot website: http://www.crochetspot.com/

Lupey Loops, "Packing for Hospital", blog entry, 7 December 2014: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/packing-for-hospital.html

Ravelry, "Three-Round Lace Scarf" by Caissa McClinton: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/three-round-lace


  1. I have the Hats book, and it's great. I agree, many of the hats can be unisex if the colours or smaller details are changed. Lots of variety of styles and yarns, and most could be knit in a short period of time. It's a good book!

    1. How many hats have you made from this book? I was looking at the Plait Beanie pattern and the photographs do not resemble the description of the hat! Is it just me? It is supposed to have a turned up brim with the i-cord edging worked around the edges. I had another look at the pattern just now before asking you, and the more I look at it the more confused I get. I wonder what people on Ravelry have to say about this one.
      Besides that, there are a lot of attractive projects in the book. Thanks for the endorsement.

    2. I think I have answered my own question now. Perhaps the brim has an asymmetrical turn up - that would make sense. Can't you tell I don't knit much!

  2. Looks like I'll have to dig up my library card for the holidays!

    1. Hi Michelle, I hope you share your findings! Our local library is changing to allow members to borrow from any library in the state. It's like the old inter-library loans except all computerised. They also have online titles as well now but that system seems to mainly offer foreign books because the program that runs the service is an American program. I would like to see more Australian titles on the online service. Does your local library have options like these?
      Happy reading (and crocheting) these holidays! :-)

    2. Michelle, the library in Epping has some crochet books! At least they had 5 years ago :P

  3. Ohh! I am jealous - my local libary hasn't such wonderful books! The first one holds a lot of appeal to me. I will search for it online :)

    Take care

    1. Hi Anne, you must ask your librarians to see if they can get that book in for you. That's why I like to put the ISBN and as many details as possible for you so you can try to find it. I do hope you find it and have some fun. The Long Legged Friends book has a very neutral palette but I wonder how crazy we could make those friends with different colours. Good luck on your search. :-)

  4. Hi Jodie,
    I also love to have a look at crochet books but unfortunately our local library hasn't got many of them. There seem to me more knitters here than crocheters. The One-Skein Wonders book would be my favourite, as well. I will have a look around if I can find it somewhere. But English books in Germany... You can order them online, of course, but I prefer to have a look at them first.
    Have a nice day, Viola

    1. I'm with you Viola. I like to hold a book in my hand and have a look before choosing to buy. Often I have read about a book online and it sounds good but when I get up close to look at it, the print might be too small or without enough contrast to be read easily. I don't want to spend money on books that are useless for me. My community must be similar to yours in that there is more focus on knitting than crochet, although that is slowly changing. It can feel lonely though which is why I turned to online communities to find people who shared my love of crochet. It has been wonderful so far and I get to meet lovely people like yourself.

  5. Hi Jodie! Thanks for sharing your library finds! I go to the various branches of the library here in Antwerp on a regular basis and always take crochet/knitting/sewing books out. I love looking at them! As you know, I'm not a great follower of patterns, I tend to use them for inspiration to do my 'own thing'. (I'm the same when it comes to recipe books, hehe!)
    However, on some occasions I decided 'this book is worth buying' so I can refer to it whenever I want to. I also find that if somebody blogs about a great craft book and gives details, I am more likely to buy it (if I am interested in that particular subject)
    My weakness is crafting magazines, I'm subscribed to quite a number of the English ones (I have them delivered to my son and collect them when we visit him in England). ^^
    I also started to collect many of the online tutorials and free pattern - plus Ravelry is really amazing and full of both free and pattern that you can pay for! It lets you save them as 'favourites' in your account. I can recommend it! Many of the yarn manufacturer's also have great websites with (some) free pattern - look for Lion Brand or Rowan (you need to make an account but it is for free). I get their emails, too! :)
    Good luck with your search for some quick projects!!! :)
    Ingrid xx

    1. Hi Ingrid,
      Thanks for providing so many avenues for learning about crochet (and other crafts) and finding patterns.
      If you like to "do your own thing" you would like the attitude in "Long-Legged Friends".
      It is good to hear reviews of books from other bloggers that have similar values to one's own. Sometimes they will point out something about a book that I hadn't thought of before or give me ideas about new ways to use the information. Don't talk to me about magazines! I love them too but cannot really afford to buy all the ones I would like, and I don't really have the room to store them sadly.
      I agree that many yarn companies have useful sites. I haven't seen much of Rowan so will have a look soon upon your recommendation. Lion Brand and Red Heart have hundreds of patterns and are 'go-to' sites for me and my friend Adrienne.
      And then there is Ravelry. My goodness, I got online to investigate this Ravelry thing after hearing it mentioned time and time again but I didn't know what it was. I was in crochet heaven when I found out!
      Aren't we lucky to have so many resources at our fingertips? Happy crafting and creating!