Thursday, December 13, 2007

Book Review: Crochet Embellishments

Connecticut schools are closed today.  The snow is falling.  I am prepared.  I am well stocked with hot chocolate, Lily Chin's yarn, and Jean Leinhauser's new book, "Crochet Embellishments
I say, let the snow keep a'fallin' -- it's weather like today that makes crocheting so much fun!  (We're expecting 10" of snow today and another big storm scheduled for Saturday)

Since the snow started falling about 30 minutes ago, I sent the kids out to start shoveling.  Is there enough to shovel so early during this snow storm?  Yes!  But that's not why I sent them out. 

I wanted, and this is a bit selfish on my part, to look through Jean's new book with just the soft sounds of snow flakes falling.  The quietness will allow my creative juices to flow just a bit more creativelyDee's attempt to sew, an apron for her grand-niece. -- I am in search of design inspiration and Jean's new book arrived just in the nick of time!

Thus far I have enjoyed crocheting up some swatches from the "Braids & Cords" chapter (and doing so with Lily's Gramercy is a dream; I just wish I had purchased more colors of it!).   I have plans of turning one braid into a fancy scarf for one of the children's school teachers.

I love the true-to-size photographs in Jean's new book as they shout "try me, try me!" -- and because of that I found another crocheted braid I'd like to add to the apron you see on the left.  I created it from scratch, with no pattern, and no formal sewing experience.  It will be a gift for my grand-niece, age 4.  I know the apron is not perfect, but this quote from one of the kids books, "Hatching Magic" by Ann Downer sure makes me feel better about it:

"It's really more training and patience and having the best tools.  And you have to allow yourself to be very, very bad at it, at the beginning.  All the discipline in the universe will be of no use to you if you cannot allow yourself to make mistakes."  (p.46)

And so, with my sewing mistakes included, I will give this little apron to my grand-niece for Christmas because it was made with love.  As for which braid from Jean's book, "Crochet Embellishments" I will add as the final touch, I'm thinking about Braid #9, using embroidery floss, and hand stitching it onto the bottom of the apron.

Of course, I have the entire day to play, so off I go, with Jean's new book in hand, in search of matching embroidery floss, my crochet hook, and a comfortable spot on the couch where I can look out the window and watch the snow fall.  Now that's what I call bliss.  Oh, yes, and I'll call the children back in for a hot cup of chocolate too.
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For those of you looking for a new book to add to your private crochet library, I do highly recommend this book.  It is packed with embellishments from flowers, to braids (as I mentioned above) to tassels and more, perfect for personalizing any of your crochet (or sewing/knit) projects! 

Jean, thank you for RAK'ing me with your new book -- I love it! 

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