Monday, 31 March 2014

Book Review: My Crochet Doll by Isabelle Kessedjian

I found a great book a few weeks ago in the 'Inspirations' craft shop in Exeter just a minute away from Exeter Central train station. Usually when I pick up knitting or crochet books to purchase for myself I think 'well, I won't crochet that, or that, maybe that' and then put it back. This book was sold the minute I picked it up. I have been looking for a pattern for a 'neat' amigurumi doll for ages and now here was the perfect book.

'My Crochet Doll' by Isabelle Kessedjian is a truly gorgeous and cute book. The book contains the pattern to crochet a basic doll and a wide array of clothes to crochet for her (I say 'her' but you could easily make the doll male). The book contains patterns for everything from a onesie for the doll to pyjamas. She is pictured with a range of hair and 'facial decorations' (masks, glasses, etc). She really looks so different in each photo shoot. There are patterns for a tiny blanket for her and even a suitcase. What a dream book for a child just getting into crochet or a young mum!

I chose to make the Red Riding Hood doll to begin with. I've nearly finished the actual doll but there was a short hiatus after I started as I needed two 50g balls of cotton and I had only picked up one in Inspirations, so I had to order on eBay. (This was my fault, I didn't read through the book properly in the shop). If you follow the patterns to the letter Isabelle recommends 'Begere de France' yarns for the doll and the clothes and provides a list for each photo shoot. The only mistake I've discovered so far is on page 72 - to make the boots it has a symbol to crochet from and to in the shoe pattern but hasn't been included so I don't know how to make them. I bet I could figure it out if I really tried. Everything else has worked out fine so far.

I've finished the legs, body and head. I have nearly finished the left arm and have crocheted the hood. I know you shouldn't start the clothes before the doll but I couldn't wait to crochet a ball of cherry King Cole DK I had bought. I don't know why I don't just crochet little dolls - they always get finished and aren't too taxing to have out while watching TV.

'My Crochet Doll' is available with £5.50 off at Play if you are in the UK. Or you can find it in your local book shop or library.

If you are in the US please take a look at this UK and US conversion chart for crochet - we use different terms here in the UK.

If you are in the US here is the link for Amazon.

This sounds like a sponsored post but it's not - I bought this book and I love it so much!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mother's Day on UK Etsy

I've taken a break from my busy schedule of watching House of Cards and Sherlock on Netflix and drinking tea working full-time and generally trying to improve my life even further to bring you a selection of four beautiful handmade items from Etsy from UK sellers so you can order them and give Mum a lovely present on Sunday week.

Big Button Coasters by 'WoodpaperscissorsUK' from Kettering, UK on Etsy £17.85

Silver Bird Pendant by 'AliBaliJewellery' from Edinburgh, Scotland on Etsy £64.79

'So loved' print by 'JenRoffePrint' from St Albans, UK £10

'Mum Hessian tote bag' by 'jillgrantxx' from Glasgow, Scotland on Etsy £20

Have a wonderful look on Etsy for yourself by searching 'UK Mum' or 'UK Mother's Day'.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Book review: 'Baby booties and socks - 50 Knits for Tiny Toes' by Frederique Alexandre

'Baby booties and socks' is a pretty book crammed full of beautifully designed yet simple to knit baby booties and socks.

There are 50 designs and they are wide-ranging in their styles and colours. Most of the designs include sizing for six month old babies and one year olds. A good amount (though not all) contain sizing for newborns and three month old babies and sizing for two year olds.

Most of the designs are knitted with two needles with a seam but there are approx a third which can be knitted in the round with double pointed needles.

The book also contains a few crocheted booties and socks. There are five pages of instructions in total - with clear diagrams on how to crochet with seven stitches including how to increase and decrease. Also there are knitting instructions with detailed guidance on how to make a left and right slanting increase and how to graft and sew invisible seams.

The yarn picked is always Bergere De France which is easy to get hold of in the UK and very affordable. If you are like me and don't mind sewing seams after knitting socks or booties flat then this is the book for you. If you can knit in the round with multiple needles and can convert a flat pattern then you could practice doing that with this book.

I think if you are new or relatively new to knitting and are thinking about knitting a present for a family member or friend with a baby then this could be a safer bet than a garment tension-wise. I've found socks to be quite simple once you master putting stitches onto a holder to shape the heel.

You can buy 'Baby Booties and socks - 50 Knits for Tiny Toes' from the Search Press website.

Thanks to Search Press for sending me this lovely little book.

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