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Book Review: Christmas Ornaments to Crochet – Create Beautiful Christmas Decor

Christmas Ornaments to Crochet

By Barbara Christopher

Deck your halls by creating these lacy, delicate ornaments for your Christmas tree. You can use them instead of bows on packages or hang them just about anywhere throughout your home to brighten up the season for pennies. You will be able to make a flurry of snowflakes in an afternoon or while you are watching your favorite Christmas movie.

There are step-by-step instructions for each of the patterns. From snowflakes to tiny stockings, each ornament works up quickly. By changing the size of thread you use, the size of the ornament can be adjusted without changing the pattern. The author suggests that the designs look best if they are crocheted tightly, so you may have to go down a size needle to make sure your stitches are tight enough.

Once the ornaments are finished, you will need to starch them to make them stiff enough to use them for decorating. Ms. Christopher explains how to make your own sugar starch, but recommends commercial boilable starch. Don’t let this necessary step deter you from creating these delicate designs. My grandmother made doilies much the same as these ornaments. Having watched her starch and block them in my childhood is a warm and comforting memory, so I honestly cannot wait to crochet and starch some for Christmas this year.

I recommend this book for experienced crocheters only because of the size of the project. If you are a novice, I would suggest that you make a scarf or hat with yarn and a larger hook before using thread and small metal hooks. But don’t let me rain on your parade if you want to jump in with both feet and create some of these beautiful ornaments no matter where your skill level.

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 Fold-By-Fold

Origami Fold-by-Fold

John Montroll

Novice and seasoned origamists will enjoy learning and practicing the ancient art of Origami with this easy to learn instruction book by John Montroll. He introduces the reader to the craft with designs that range from simple to very complex. The brief history of paper folding provided by Montroll is interesting and teaches us that origami has roots in China, Japan and Germany.

You must begin your journey to becoming proficient by learning the symbols (lines and arrows) and basic folds. The author has written clear instructions that includes step-by-step color illustrations of each fold. He then begins with a simple fish. My favorite easy creation is the scallop. You could use it to make adorable place cards for a summer get-together.

As you go further into the book, the difficulty level increases. There are elephants and other zoo animals, sharks and even a sunken dodecahedron. First of all, I didn’t even know what that was (it is one of several stellated icosahedrons of 60 equilateral triangles). I had to look up stellated icosahedrons – it is a geometric shape. The sunken dodecahedron is as difficult to make (57 steps) as it is to say, but I seriously want to make one now that I know all about them.

Just when I thought I’d seen every kind of origami creation, Montroll taught me I have much more to learn. Both novices and experts will enjoy creating paper art with Origami Fold-by-Fold. If you make a stellated icosahedron, please send me a picture. I’d love to see it.

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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