Tag Archives: Dover Publications

Book Review: Inspired Shawls -Stunning Patterns for Knitters

Inspired Shawls

15 Creative Patterns for Year-Round Knitting

By Laura Zukaite

Inspired Shawls is Fashion Designer Laura Zukaite’s brain child. She has created 15 stunning shawl patterns that range from easy to expert. All of her creations include beautiful color photographs, diagrams, charts and detailed, easy to read instructions. General abbreviations are listed at the end of the book, but any special abbreviations/instructions are conveniently printed on the first page of the pattern along with the gauge so you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth to the end of the book as you are knitting.

The beauty and diversity of these patterns is a knitter’s dream. Some of the shawls, like the Catagena and Nazca are as delicate as butterfly wings. Others are colorful and warm. I love the Geo Aztec Shawl. Knitted in DK/Light Worsted weight, with adorable tassels on each end makes this fun and functional shawl a favorite.

There is an interesting page about Ms. Zukaite’s design journey. Born in Lithuania, she learned to knit as a child. Now living in New York, she has studied at Parsons School of Design and has designed for Gap and Ralph Lauren to mention a few. She has published patterns in various knitting magazines and is the author of Lux Knits, Lux Knits; The Accessories as well as Inspired Shawls. I love the color, patterns and the inspiration in Inspired Shawls.

I highly recommend this book to knitters from novice to expert level. Happy knitting!

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Cat in My Pocket Embroidery

Cat in My Pocket Embroidery

Ten Purrfect Projects

By Hiroko Kubota

Born from need, continued with love, Kubota creates hand embroidered cats. With her newly published book, Cat in My Pocket Embroidery, she shares her knowledge and artistry, allowing us to recreate her fun felines.

From choosing the proper threads to use (single strands of size 25 embroidery floss) to the proper fabric (plain weave, nonstretch and smooth such as linen or cotton) is thoroughly discussed. Other items needed to complete your project are needles, an embroidery hoop, transfer paper, pins and a seam ripper. The author gives readers recommendations for each of the tools needed. Also included are ten cat templates to trace or photocopy to ensure your success.

Stitching techniques, starting and finishing have step-by-step instructions as well as photos and illustrations to ensure a successful outcome to your project. Kubota recommends starting one of the first three projects before branching out to the remaining seven. Each of the first three have between forty-six to forty-eight steps. The remaining seven projects have fewer steps, because you have already learned the proper way to introduce color and texture with your stitches.

I recommend this book to experienced embroiderers. But if you are a novice stitcher and feel compelled to embellish a shirt, purse or tote with one of these adorable cats, do not let me dissuade you. The instructions, images and illustrations are clear and concise. If followed, anyone with a little practice are destine to be successful.

As most crafters acknowledge, it is as much the enjoyment of the creative journey as it is the appreciation of the finished product. Kubota states, “I am pleased to say I am not the only person who appreciates the warmth, personality, and individuality of handcrafted products…”. I could not have said it better.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Sayings and Expressions Stained Glass Patterns

Sayings & Expressions

Stained Glass Patterns

By Anna Croyle

Sayings & Expressions brings us beautiful designs to be created using stained glass. There are 40 contemporary designs including two styles of alphabets and numbers. Additionally, there are beautiful designs including flowers and sayings such as “Home Sweet Home” and “Gone Fishing” with cute and quirky things like cats, bees and fish. My favorite is the “Tasting Room” that spotlights wine and grapes.

If you are a stained-glass artist, you will enjoy the inspiration and designs included in this book. But if you are a novice, you will need to find a book with actual instructions, not just designs. The author suggests Stained Glass Craft Made Simple by James McDonell, which includes general instructions, tools and materials needed for beginners.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

 

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Book Review: Wreaths for Every Season – 24 Projects to Wow You

Wreaths for Every Season

24 Projects to Make Throughout the Year

By Stasie McArthur

There is nothing more welcoming than a beautiful wreath on your front door. It is fun to change wreaths with the seasons and holidays throughout the year, but let’s be honest, it is expensive to purchase ready made wreaths.

Stasie McArthur has solved this problem by writing Wreaths for Every Season. It includes twenty-four patterns for you to create at a fraction of the cost of store-bought wreaths. She reminds us that inspiration can be found everywhere, so keep your eyes open for everything that would look fabulous on your personalized handmade wreaths.

She lists the basic supplies need, such as paint, floral wire, tie wraps and pipe cleaners. To get started browse through her book, checking out the beautiful color photos to see what inspires you. The material list is included for each wreath, as well as step by step photos and written instructions to complete them. Make them your own by choosing flowers, fabric and bows that will make your wreath unique.

This fun and useful book will allow you to create stunning one-of-a-kind wreaths. You may want to create one for a friend of family member. I highly recommend this book to everyone that likes to add a personal touch for everyone that enters their home to see and enjoy.

 

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Clay Play! Animal Favorites – Creative Fun For All Ages

Clay Play! Animal Favorites

By Terry Taylor

You can create a zoo full of cute clay animals with Terry Taylor’s Clay Play! Animal Favorites. Using Polymer clay and simple tools like dowels, paper clips and pipe cleaners, you can create a menagerie of real and mythical creatures.

Taylor begins with the basics of Polymer clay. She provides detailed instructions with colorful pictures as well as diagrams. My favorite beginner tip is to rub a bit of hand cream on your hands before you begin to keep the colors clean and the clay from sticking to your hands.

Each individual animal has two pages of instructions. There is a material list, written directions and a page of pictures showing each stage of completion from beginning to end. Polymer clay is then baked, so adult supervision is needed if your child wants to create with you.

Of the 29 adorable projects, it is hard to pick a favorite. They are all cute and colorful. The lion, penguin and sloth are super cute, as well as the panda and frog. The personality shines through for each animal with the adorable expressions on their faces.

I highly recommend this book of adorable critters. The instructions are so well written it guarantees your success. If you don’t want to use Polymer clay, you could use regular clay or Playdoh with your children. The animals will not last like the baked Polymer, but you and your children will have hours of fun making and remaking the land and sea creatures in this book.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Cut and Assemble The Mayflower – A Full-Color Paper Model

Cut and Assemble the Mayflower

A Full Color Paper Model

By A. G. Smith

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so now is the perfect time to begin making this stunning paper replica of the Mayflower. Can you imagine the surprise on your guest’s faces when they see this detailed version of this famous ship?

The instructions are detailed and clear, but this is not a project that should be completed at the last minute as there are many steps as well as the time it takes for the glue to set after each section is complete. There are photographs and exploded views to assist you. The list of additional items needed is short. It includes many things you already have on hand, such as an X-ACTO knife, glue and a straight edge. Black thread, toothpicks and straight pins are used to create the rigging.

The sheer number of pieces demonstrates building this ship will not be a small or quick task. It is a show piece, and worthy of your time and effort. So much so that you will probably want to keep it out all year to enjoy.

I recommend this book for adults and teens, as children could easily become confused and/or frustrated with all of the small details, not to mention the use of sharp objects. By all means let your child help you with the easier parts of the model with adult supervision.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Origami Boxes – Fun and Useful

Origami Boxes

Dover Publications

Origami is cute, fun and offers beautiful things to create from paper. The patterns in Origami Boxes are simple, easy to construct and useful. I don’t know about you, but I like to put gifts in boxes and wrap them instead of using bags with tissue paper. I know it is faster and easier to use bags, but unwrapping a gift in a box is so much more fun for the gift and giver.

You can create the small boxes you need by using the step-by-step easy instructions included in this book. There are several different types of boxes, such as a flat box, a box with a hinged lid and a fortune purse. It is fun to give a small treasure in a hand made box of your own creation.

There are general instructions for novice and seasoned origami masters, as well as specific instructions for each of the eight boxes created by experts. As a bonus, there are 200 sheets of origami paper in various colors and patterns. You will soon have an array of beautiful boxes for small gifts in magnificent florals, soothing solids and eye-catching geometric designs.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Adorable Fruits and Vegetables to Crochet – Over Twenty Patterns

Adorable Fruits & Vegetables to Crochet

By: Marie Clesse

Beautiful color pictures of luscious looking veggies and fruit fill the pages of this pattern book. Lemons to leeks, peas in a pod, pumpkins and more are included in the colorful pages of Adorable Fruits & Veggies.

Step by step, easy to read instructions for over twenty colorful fruits and veggies are included for beginners and seasoned crafters to create. Cotton yarn is suggested, but other yarns can be used. There is a handy paragraph with substitutions and adjustments to the size crochet hook needed. You will also need stuffing and other basic craft materials such as scissors and pins.

If you have never crocheted or uncertain about some of the techniques, there are simple, step by step instructions with illustrations to get you started. These include single, half-double, double and triple crochet and how to work in the round or crochet in rows.

Proficient crafters will find the instructions simple and straightforward. The author also adds the approximate amount of time it takes to complete each project. The front cover of the book recommends using these fun fruits and veggies as “Delicious Decorations for Your Table”. As soon as I saw them, I thought immediately of making them for some of the young children in my life. Kids love to play make believe with plastic fruits and vegetables, why not make them out of yarn that can easily be popped in the washer and dryer instead? You may have to make several of each because they will love playing with them.

I recommend this book to all crochet lovers from beginners to seasoned veterans. The size of each project is perfect to take along with you to work on and is fast and easy. Most crafters have bits of yarn in their stash that can be used to create fun, soft, washable fruits and veggies with the instructions in Adorable Fruits and Veggies.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Stealth Aircraft Origami – Create Paper Airplanes Like Never Before

Stealth Aircraft Origami

By: Jayson Merrill

Quick! Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear origami. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking of cute little animals out of flowery paper. Jayson Merrill, author of Stealth Aircraft Origami is about to change everyone’s thoughts on the ancient craft of origami.

Paper airplanes have always been fun to create, and Merrill takes them to a whole new level. One of the aircraft featured is the Black Knight. In the introduction, he tells us how he created this plane without tape and it flew 237 feet! He states this book is not for beginners.  Only experienced origami experts should attempt to make the SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk and the rest of the super cool fighter jets found within the pages.

There are detailed instructions and pictures outlining the procedures to create these super cool planes, as well as a fascinating paragraph about each one. Each type of fold is shown for every step. The Black Knight has 37 different steps. If that isn’t enough of a challenge, the B-2 Spirit (stealth bomber) uses 56 steps to create this amazing plane that was first developed in 1979. This bomber is still in use today. One of the other aircrafts, the SR 71 Blackbird was developed in the 1960s and could fly at speeds over Mach 3 Today visitors can see one close up at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.

I recommend this book to anyone that wants a real challenge. I am only a beginner when it comes to origami, but the challenge of creating a paper airplane that could fly over 200 feet is calling to me. How about you?

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Margeau Chapeau, A New Perspective on Classic Knit Hats – Enter to Win a Copy!

Margeau Chapeau

A new perspective on classic knit hats

By: Margeau Soboti

Avid and sometime knitters alike have most likely created at least one handknit gift for the holidays. When the New Year begins, it is often time to cast on new projects either for yourself or someone you love. Margeau Chapeau is the perfect answer to the question: “What will I make next?”

Ms. Soboti has designed over a dozen knit hat patterns that range from easy to challenging patterns. Hat knitting is the perfect project to practice new techniques. The small size enables you to try new things such as Fair Isle, Brioche, Chevron or cables. Let’s be honest, learning something new usually involves a bit of trial and error. It is much easier to start again on a small project if necessary than a huge project like a sweater.

The patterns range in skill level from easy to intermediate. Each one lists the suggested yarns, most of which are worsted or bulky with a few specialty yarns like a mohair blend or alpaca. Of course, you can always change the yarn you use, but be sure to check your gauge and adjust the needle size accordingly.

Each pattern not only gives you the level of skill needed, size of needles, gauge and suggested yarn, but also includes measurements of the final project. The step by step instructions are clear and easy to follow. Conveniently, the stitch glossary is included for each individual pattern so you don’t have to bounce back and forth from the pattern to the glossary pages.

Dover Publications  has graciously offered to give a copy to one of my readers. To enter into the drawing, “like” this post on FB  or on my blog, https://writeknit.wordpress.com/. If you leave a comment on either FB (laura.hartman.96 ) or my blog, I will add 2 extra entries in the drawing for you. If you “like” and comment on both, you will have 6 chances to win if you like and comment on both FB and writeknit. The winner will be chosen  and announced on January 10, 2020. Dover Publications will mail the book directly to the winner. Good Luck!

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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