Sunday, November 4, 2018

Coastal Crochet

Hello! I'm back with another blog post!  Feeling refreshed after our half-term holiday in North Cornwall with my hubby, the kids and the dog. We spent cold but sunny days hiking different parts of the gorgeous coast path, enjoying views of the dramatic cliffs, exploring secluded beaches, rock pools and caves at low tide, cooking on a Rayburn stove in our cosy cottage and visiting a number of dog-friendly pubs. We used to visit this beautiful part of Britain every year in the Fall/Autumn before we moved to Texas. It was so good to be back after seven years! Our kids can certainly walk a lot further now!

Cornwall was a very fitting location, as Socktober's SockCAL2018 came to an end, for reading, reviewing and starting my first project from Coastal Crochet, a collection of crochet patterns inspired by the west coast of the United States, written by my friend and talented crochet designer Karen Whooley. 

I first discovered Karen when I started making crochet socks and have made several of her designs, socks and shawls, since then. I won a copy of her wonderful last book A Garden of Shawls listening to a live interview with Marly Bird. I test-crocheted Moonlight Socks for Karen, she gave me a discount for her patterns when I was teaching a crochet sock class at Houston Fiber Fest and most recently she kindly wrote a post for us for our Crochet Sock Blog Hop. Karen is wonderful. I could go on...

There are 12 gorgeous projects in Coastal Crochet - six shawls/scarfs, three sweaters/cardigans, a cowl and mitt set, a top and a hat. Each project has full written instructions, charts and a helpful schematic outline.  Karen has used beautiful yarn from indie dyers, which I love. And I've met two in person (and bought their lovely yarn) Karen from Round Table Yarns is from Texas and Nimblefingers hosts a trunk show for Sabrina at Anzula.

I would recommend this book for adventurous beginners or intermediates. The designs call for lace and fingering weight yarn so give fantastic drape but are more challenging to work with. And there are plenty of fun stitches and techniques used in the projects to keep things interesting - foundation chains, post stitches, cables and short row shaping. 

When I look at the designs I can tell that they are going to look even better in real life. I don't if you know what I'm what talking about when I say this. I want them to come out of the pages. I have started the first of the designs, Perspective, because I loved the look of the short row shaping and had suitable yarn in my stash - two balls of variegated silk merino lace weight yarn purchased from Nimblefingers just before we left this summer. 

My next two projects from the book, unless I become distracted which happens so easily, would be Tidepool, a cute hat made from post front double crochets with an intriguing hidden seam and Mist, a gorgeous cardigan constructed from three rectangles. Like Karen I love simple designs that look intricate.

Do head over to Karen's website for more information on Coastal Crochet. Karen sent me an electronic version of the book for free for this review (thank you Karen!) but I also bought a hard copy of the book on to support her marvelous work and I need it on my shelf - I'm an avid collector of the best crochet books out there.

Life is about to become very busy again (back to the day job and a side gig as a trainee crochet tech editor (!!)) so I might not be blogging or podcasting for a while but you can find me on all the social media Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and also on Ravelry as Crafty Escapism. Hope you're all enjoying Fall y'all!

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