Thursday 24 August 2017

Get this book - Hallo, Crochet! / Hallo, Hekel!

What is brilliant?

When three of your hooky friends publish a big, fat crochet book, full of beautiful patterns, that is brilliant.

Hello, welcome and thank you for Hello, Crochet! / Hallo, Hekel! by Cornel Strydom, Elsbeth Eksteen and Anisa Fielding, three beautiful, creative hookers, each with a very unique style.  The result resembles all of them: contemporary neutral, romantic arty and bright, bohemian quirky. 

Hello Cornel, Elsbeth & Anisa!

The book is divided into four main sections: Contemporary, Arty, Romantic and Bohemian, each showcasing this specific style in terms of colour and styling.  

Contents (Afrikaans version)

A variety of patterns are included, eg. a tea cosy, 2 blankets, scarf, wrist warmers, shawl, toy, three different bags, a skirt, a placemat, a children's jumper, a dress, a hat and top in the Contemporary section.  Paging through Arty, you'll find similar, but different, plus a beanie, a coat, a doilie and mini-shawl, and this continues through Romantic and Bohemian, a total of 64 patterns (yes, there's enough patterns!).

Then you realise that these 64 patterns are made up of 11 motifs, 4 written patterns and 2 diagrams...that's the cleverness of this book! One diagram can be interpreted as a neutral, basic shawl; a chunky mini-shawl/neckerchief; a romantic summer shawl in pastels and a bright, gypsy-like shawl with pom poms - and they all look different. 

The layout is clean and fresh without being clinical.  Each pattern has an information box that includes an indication of the skill level required, recommended yarn (used in the example), hook size, completed size, special abbreviations and tools needed.  Some also included diagrams of joins, pattern repetitions or simple motifs to to include, or instructions for assembly, all hand-drawn by Elsbeth (as is the pattern diagrams in the back of the book).

A Bohemian baby cardigan

I quickly tested the Amber mini-shawl in both Karoo Moon handspun and Malabrigo Silky Merino. It worked up easily to a nice neckerchief size.  I did prefer the softer Silky Merino that also drapes better, but a bigger hook size might have served the Karoo Moon well.  

Blocking the Karoo Moon mini shawl

Done in Silky Merino, it came out a bit bigger, with better drape:

One can almost see the softness of this yarn!

I thoroughly enjoyed making these quick projects and look forward  to working through more of the book (8 yellow Post It Notes mark those that required earliest attention!).  I can really recommend this book as a versatile pattern book for the intermediate hooker, showcasing the best of South African yarns (this is such a bonus - we now have beautiful yarns available and patterns were designed with these in mind).  Even just reading through it takes  me back to the good old Craft Share days at Cornel's dining table!

Well done,  ladies.  There was a gap in the market and it was waiting for you!

(Next up: Review of Beatrix Snyman's Afrikaans book "Raak Hekelslim", soon to be available in English as well)

Monday 17 April 2017

Create - a new yarncraft mag on the block!

What is great?

Welcoming a new yarncraft magazine, that is great!

Create Magazine is a new digital offering, fantastic in a time where beloved magazines close down one after the other, where print magazines are often so frustrating (try to decipher the index?  I dare you.  If I have to page through the whole bloody magazine because I cannot determine from the index what is knit/crochet/mosaic/clay/paint/rubbish...then I just don't even buy it).

Available online at , Create Mag is a collaboration between some of the most talented ladies on the South African scene and is edited by Lauren Redman.

Issue 1 (76 pp) contains ...

- a review of 8 local and international yarns, dye and a Scheepjes pattern bookazine.
- an interview with Carlé Dehning, creative mind behind Nurturing Fibres
- an overview on recent and future yarn related retreats


- a whole TEN patterns: knitting, crochet and Tunisian with really wearable/usuable projects.

Get it now!   It really is worth your R100.

(R100 = €7= £6 = $7.5 = AUS$ 10 at This Moment's exchange rate)