Rico Design | Heartbreakers Booklet Review

Spring is here at last! It certainly feels that way here in the UK doesn’t it?!  There’s a lovely fresh smell to the air in the morning (which always makes me think of camping) and I’m loving that the days are getting warmer.

And with the Spring comes Easter, and Easter themed crochet!  I’ve recently been enjoying making some fun Easter decor projects from the ‘Heartbreakers’ booklet by Rico Designs

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I was going to make a sample of one of the designs in the booklet for when I did my first crochet demo at Abakhan Fabrics, but I enjoyed making them so much that I actually made a couple of the different designs. 

The Heartbreaker booklet is actually from a series of booklets by Rico Designs which feature projects made from Ricorumi DK (Sports weight) cotton yarn. Ricorumi are handy 25g / 58m balls available in a colour pallet of 60 colours.

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I’ve used Ricorumi before (in fact I’ve got a design coming soon made with it) and I find it lovely to work with and it gives amigurumi’s such great stitch definition. 

The Heartbreaker booklet features an adorable collection of designs in sweet pastel shades and includes patterns for a cute amigurumi bunny and lamb, a cherry blossom branch, floral wreath, an Easter garland, bunny egg warmers and a couple of different Easter egg designs.

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I made the bunny egg warmers first and I did a little test – you can pretty much make two of the bunny egg warmers (without facial features) with just one ball of ricorumi (though the ears on one of the bunnies might be a tad shorter than the other).

I thought that was really good though especially as Ricorumi usually retails around the the £1.10ish mark ($1.40ish) so it would cost next to nothing to make a couple of these as a little Easter gift for someone or to add to your Spring stall.

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Next I made one of the embroidered eggs which is done around a polystyrene egg to help keep it’s shape. I really enjoyed the embroidery part of the egg more than I thought I would actually and it’s kind of made me want to start embellishing more crochet things in that way.

I really enjoyed the little projects from the Rico design booklet and I think they are great value for money (usually about £3.60 / $4.69) which is about the price of a coffee and cookie – though it lasts for a lot longer!

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I’m actually going to have a go at one of the designs in the Lovely World of Ricorumi ‘Puppies’ booklet next to take along with me to one of future crochet demos at Abakhan Fabrics – I’ll let you know how I get on with him.

Have you tried Ricorumi yarn, or made something from one of the booklets? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Book Review | 9 Months to Crochet by Maaike van Koert

Disclaimer: This book / pattern is one I have purchased (or used) for my own benefit.  I have not been financially compensated by the book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.


As you know the KCACOUK household celebrated a new addition to our household last year and as a result I became a little obsessed for awhile with  crochet for babies.  The book I’m reviewing today, 9 months to Crochet by Maaike Van Koert, came out a little late for me to use whilst actually pregnant (as first published in 2017) but it’s many gorgeous designs really appealed to me. 

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What a great concept for a book! I actually got back into crochet when I was pregnant with Little G in 2010 as I was overcome with the urge to make something for her – I wish this book had been around then as it would have been perfect.  

Before I get onto the crochet patterns inside I just want to talk a little about the design of the actual book.  I just love the arrangement of these patterns! The corners of the front cover and all the pages have been creatively rounded which suggests a softness to the book before you even open it. Then once inside beautiful little nursery animal illustrations accompany the text and photos throughout which is a nice touch.

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The book is split into each trimester with twenty-five projects in total. And the projects are grouped into three levels; beginner, intermediate and experienced – but all of the patterns are very doable!

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From baskets, shawls, blankets, toys and lovely cushions the book is filled with charming nursery designs for boys or girls and new mums to be.

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The patterns are written in UK crochet terminology but the book also includes some excellent instructions (in the back of the book) with accompanying photos for basic stitches and techniques used.

I decided I wanted to make the cute ball rattle in bright rainbow hues for Little Miss.  I used Drops Cotton Paris which is one of my favourite cottons. It’s a 10 ply / aran / worsted 100% Cotton which is machine washable (so perfect for baby) and comes in a varied range of colours including some great brights for rainbow making! 

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The pentagon motif, that makes up the ball, is quick and straightforward to hook up and nicely repetitive so easy to remember – great for hooking whilst watching your favourite TV show.  

I was really pleased with how my final ball turned out; just perfect for little hands…

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and Little Miss has certainly enjoyed playing with her new rattly ball.

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My verdict is that this is a wonderful little book for expectant  mums, new mothers or anyone that wants to hook something up for a newborn babe.

Well until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Book Reviews | AmiguruMe by Allison Hoffman

Before I get onto the review I need to tell you a bit of the background as to why I personally was so interested in this book in the first place. If you are a follower of my little ole blog then you may well have seen my posts about how I created an amigurumi likeness of my brother and that dolls subsequent adventures (of Little Adam). Well what started off as a family joke quickly escalated and now all my friends and family want their own custom doll! That is definitely going to take awhile…but I plan on springing them on people when they least expect it so as to make a better surprise!

My basic Little Adam design was a simplified version of my elf pattern and a fab little guitar pattern I found on Ravelry. It wasn’t until after I’d given him to my brother that I realised I’d forgotten to give him ears! 

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My real brother does have ears! Just missed them off the doll – oopss!

I knew there must be a way to make any future dolls have an even closer resemblance to their ‘owner’ and that’s where the book AmigurumMe by Allison Hoffman comes in…

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How clever is that title right!?

AmigurumMe is basically a fantastic resource book for making your own customised crocheted characters. Each pattern is written in American Crochet terminology with clear and easy to follow instructions including detailed explanations and photos of the different stitches used.

The book is cleverly divided into sections for each component:

  • Making faces and heads
  • Upper body
  • Lower body
  • Feet and shoes
  • Hair
  • Accessories and more

I love the fact that a cat and a dog have also been included for pet loving mini-versions of friends and family.

Since the patterns show you how to make each different elements of a doll there’s literally endless possibilities that you can create. The book even includes step-by-step instructions of how to make some celebrities such as Mr.T, Tina Turner (as shown on the front cover) or even Michael Jackson, Madonna or Hulk Hogan.

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The customised doll I wanted to try this time round was one of my lovely dad… 

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Photo of me and my lovely Dad taken a few years ago…

I didn’t use all elements of the book, as I wanted Little Dad to be similar to Little Adam, so I concentrated on the face and hair to begin with.  Oh my goodness I cannot even say how long I spent trying to get his hair and eyebrows right!  Rather than make a wig cap (which I did with Little Adam) I embroidered the hair directly onto the head. I eventually got to a place where I was pleased with how it looked – and believe me any dreams of being a hairdresser were well and truly quashed!

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I used the details from the book to make a cap sleeved top, better hands, ears (didn’t forget those this time) and a cute pocket detail to his top.

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To make it even more personalised I added a fishing rod (as that’s my Dad’s hobby) and embroidered some tattoos onto my dad’s arms – these elements weren’t included in the book so I winged it, but I was pleased with the end results. After these tweaks Little Dad was finally finished and handed over to my Dad on his birthday. And in case you were wondering my Dad loved him (yay)!

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If you fancy having a go at making your own customised doll I would definitely recommend this book (I bought my copy of the book from Amazon) – I know I will certainly be using it again in the future.

Well until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Disclaimer: This book / pattern is one I have purchased (or used) for my own benefit.  I have not been financially compensated by the book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

 

Book Review | Winter Crochet (Collection 7) by Marie Wallin

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Winter Crochet is Marie Wallin‘s seventh book which includes a collection of eight beautiful contemporary crochet patterns.  Many of the designs combine knitting and crochet together which is perfect for bi-stitchual crafters.  The blend of knitting and crochet creates a group of very wearable winter clothes including, amongst other things, jumpers, cardigans and a jacket. 

Each pattern is written in English Crochet terminology but US alternate details, along with photos of close ups of each design, tension, sizing, finishing and aftercare is included in the back of the book.

The book is a bit of a work of art! The photos of each garment are gorgeously set alongside a charming seaside background. I love the rustic looking colour palette that has been used, very much my type of colours, which compliment the natural surroundings perfectly.  

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The yarn used in the book is Rowan Felted Tweed and Felted Tweed Aran but if you didn’t want to use that you could try substituting with KnitPicks City Tweed Aran, Katia Maerino Tweed, Berroco Inca Tweed, Cascade Yarns Melilla, James C. Brett Rustic With Wool Aran, Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed with Wool or Stylecraft Aran with Wool. Remember to always swatch to measure your gauge if using a different yarn.

All the patterns in the book have been given lovely Celtic names ;  

  • Gael (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Caitlin (Crochet) – Jumper
  • Keela (Crochet) – Jacket
  • Finnoula (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Meara (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Siobhan (Crochet) – Cardigan
  • Niamh (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Catriona (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper

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There are some really interestingly intricate stitch details, all of which have been clearly explained throughout the book, but the beautiful motifs used to create Finnoula caught my eye. Just stunning!

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I love how versatile crochet is in that you can re-invent or re-use elements of one thing to turn it into something else.  I decided to use one of the motifs from Finnoula, which reminded me of a poinsettia, to make a small ornamental mat which I could sit my actual poinsettia on.

The motif worked up beautifully with some spare Aran (Worsted) weight cotton I had in my stash. The pattern was clear and easy to follow and I had no trouble at all making the motif. My little mat was just perfect for my Poinsettia and will now come out every year for that purpose.

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If you are interested in having this book for your very own it is currently available for purchase via laughinghens.com

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Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Disclaimer:  I received a sample copy of the book to write this review. I have not been financially compensated by the supplier, book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.