#crochet Review and Giveaway! *Closed*

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Hello there! How are you? It has been very cold here in the last few days so I am writing this post from my bed with a hot water bottle next to my feet 🙂

Today I bring you a quick review for a new magazine I purchased a few weeks ago and I will also be doing my first giveaway! I know this is something that more popular blogs do but I thought it would be nice and a smaller following means more chances of you winning so I am sure you are OK with it 🙂

The magazine is #crochet and it is published in the UK by Immediate Media. It is a quarterly magazine and they only recently published their third issue so it is quite new. I purchased the second issue which has the astounding amount of 63 patterns from garments, to accessories and amigurumis.

I really enjoyed this magazine, not only because there are some nice patterns but also because there are some great recommendations of blogs, Etsy shops, books, yarn and more. Even though there were a few garments in there what really catches your attention are the lovely accesories for your wardrobe and your home, starting with the beautiful cowl featured on the cover. It was nice to buy a magazine with more than one pattern that I really liked! Of course I have no time at all to add any more projects to my queue but you can’t tell me those cake decorations aren’t the most adorable thing you have ever seen!

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There were also some features on designers, on this issue of Kat Goldin and Mola Mills and those were nice to read as well, it is always interesting to know a bit more about the people behind gorgeous patterns.

So if you are looking to try a new crochet magazine I definitely recommend to check this one out, you can buy it for £7.99 at buysuscriptions with free UK postage and you can also win a copy of this issue if you enter my giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what has been your favourite crochet pattern/project to date and why. You have until the 30th January at midday (UK time) to enter and it is open to my international readers as well, I will post it wherever you are 🙂

Good luck!

x

Sol

Class Review: Tunisian Crochet with Dora Ohrenstein

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Interweave Store

Ufff… I am so glad it is finally holiday time! Which means loads of time to crochet and plenty of food, love it 🙂 As I mentioned in my last post I have been very busy at work and since I am still working on my next tunisian crochet next tutorial I thought I could write a review in the meantime.

Ever since I discovered Craftsy I have been loving online classes and have also been downloading a few videos from Interweave Crochet which teach you specific techniques. It is so relaxing to watch them in the evenings at the hotel when I am away for work and I have finished a couple of them so I thought I should share my thoughts here.

In this post I will review an Interweave Crochet video download called “Tunisian Crochet with Dora Ohrenstein”. I bought this on a sale for US$5, the normal price is US$19.99 so it was quite a bargain. I first heard of Dora because I enrolled in her tunisian crochet Craftsy class, and if you follow my blog you know I loved it. Dora is a great teacher, she explained everything very well and I really liked her. She even answered one of my questions in the forum and was very helpful. Even though I am still working on the pattern from that class (definitely on my list to finish before next year) this has nothing to do with her skills as a teacher and more to do with me working on too many projects at once. Anyway, since I loved her class I decided to download this video and see if I could get a bit more knowledge about tunisian crochet and learn a few more techniques.

The video lasts two hours and it starts with the basic tunisian stitches to then move on to more complicated techniques. She talks about lace stitches, textured fabrics, tunisian in the round, entrelac and others. I think what I enjoyed the most about the video was that it shows you the scope of different fabrics you can get with tunisian crochet and the amazing textures you can get. It gives an overview of what you can achieve with this technique much beyond the basic stitches.

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Interweave Store

Now, if you want to not only see but learn how to do all these different stitches and techniques then this video is not the one for you. She goes through the basic stitches very quickly, she just does one row of 8 stitches for each of them (simple stitch, knit stitch and purl stitch) and then moves on to more complicated ones. The problem is that she doesn’t go through all the stitches she shows, and the ones she does explain are not in detail or from start to finish. She would have started a sample with the stitch and do one or two rows to show you how to work the stitch but no more than that. You wouldn’t know how to begin a sample with that stitch or how to end it, and there is no document with the class where the stitches are explained in detail. I think that she tried to fit in too many things in the class and that meant she couldn’t go into much detail for any of them. I would prefer to learn something from start to finish rather than know a little bit about a lot of stitches.

One thing I did find very useful is that she explained a few different ways of increasing and decreasing stitches and the pros and cons of each, I already knew most of them but I did learn a few things and it was good to see all the different ways explained in one place. She also had good tips about how to convert knit patterns to tunisian crochet and avoid disappointment and I also liked the explanation of how to do a tunisian cable which I hadn’t seen before. The video comes with a pattern for a vest that I didn’t particularly like, though I did like the stitch pattern.

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One last thing to note is that Dora Ohrenstein also wrote a book about tunisian crochet with different stitches and patterns, and this class seems to be a good tool if you have the book, since quite a few of the stitch patterns can be found in detail there so the video gives you a visual aid. I have the book and will write a review on another post, I will only say that if you had to choose between the video and the book I would definitely go for the book!

All in all, I enjoyed this class, I really like Dora as a teacher and I learned a few things I hadn’t seen before but I think she tried to cover too much in two hours and that meant that even though you see all the beautiful things you can do with tunisian crochet you won’t find all the information you need to learn them in this video, and it will be harder if you are only starting with tunisian crochet.

Having said that if you find this product in an offer and would like to see what tunisian crochet can do, if you really like the pattern that comes with it or if you own Dora’s book and would like to see how some of the stitches are worked then I recommend you get this. I don’t believe I would pay the full price but for the US$5 I paid it is very good value for money and I did really enjoy it.

That’s me for today! Will be back soon with tutorials, more reviews and new patterns 🙂

x

Sol

Craftsy Class Review: Fair Isle Crochet

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Hello there! How’s autumn (or spring) treating you? I think I am still in denial and have refused to turn the heating on yet but I know the time will come sooner rather than later. As I mentioned in my journey update  I want to do some reviews for you of online classes and books I have found useful and I will begin with the first online class I took called “Fair Isle Crochet”.

Before I get on with the review I would like to make clear that I have not been sponsored by Craftsy (trust me I am not that popular), I bought this class with my own money and the opinions written here are my own. So first, if you haven’t heard of Craftsy they offer online classes of various things such as knitting, crocheting, cooking, sewing, gardening, cooking, quilting and much more. The videos are available on any device you want, in HD quality and you can keep them forever, there is an app for iPad and iPhones and you can even watch the class offline. You will get your list of materials and patterns needed for the class to download and then you are ready to go. You should note that Craftsy is US based so their patterns will be in US terms.

First, I really liked the quality of Craftsy classes. Videos are in good quality, you can slow them down, make notes on the video, ask questions to the instructor, join discussions and share your projects. If I had an iPad I would find the app very useful, wouldn’t really watch the videos on my phone but maybe some of you would like that.

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The class was Fair Isle Crochet by Karen Whoolie and covered the following: introduction to fair isle crochet, reading charts and working fair isle crochet. After this you are talked through 3 patterns using this technique: a shawl, a trivet and a hat.

The first three lessons teach you about this technique and how to work it, and I learned some really good things such as how to keep your designs from leaning, how to get nice floats, what type of stitch is good to use for fair isle, how to change colours and I specially loved the way she weaves in ends, which applies to any crochet project and not just fair isle. The instructor is very clear in her explanations and I think someone that has never done fair isle before could follow it with no problem.

The only thing I didn’t like is her way of getting a reversible fair isle fabric with clean colour changes and no leaning of the design. I was quite excited to learn how she would achieve this because it is something I have always wondered and only have been able to do it in the round. If you are working flat once you turn your work around the designs look a bit distorted unless they are big shapes, anything more intricate gets a bit lost. She does achieve this but her method is so painfully slow and it leaves a million ends to weave in so I was a bit disappointed. It is fine for a trivet and she does explain how to make it easier to hide the ends but I just wouldn’t use her technique in a project because I would get bored very quickly. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the first three lessons to apply them for projects in the round.

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Finally there were the projects. Of course not everyone is going to like all the patterns but they each teach you a bit more about how to work fair isle. The only one I would do for myself would be the hat, but I still enjoyed seeing the lessons for the other projects and seeing the technique in action.

Overall, I recommend this class to anyone interested in learning fair isle crochet, if you already know the basic technique then maybe you should see if you like the patterns and decide if it’s worth it for you. The class costs £25 full price but to be honest I wouldn’t have bought it at that price. They do sales VERY often and got mine at £9.50 which is very reasonable for the content and three patterns. 

Hope that was useful 😉 I just started another class on Craftsy about tunisian crochet so stay tuned because this time I am going to share my learning experience with you guys step by step… more soon!

x

Sol