February Freebie for Free!

Mafalda Neck Wrap by AnneArchy

Sometimes you want an accessory that will keep your neck warm but doesn’t have long drapey bits, and this neck wrap is perfect for that! It gives you a lovely bit of color (or not, depending on the yarn you choose) and is a great way to show off that spectacular brooch you picked up at an estate sale last summer (or, as pictured, the one you bought while at a theme park. IT’S ALL GOOD.)

This free pattern is yours on Ravelry, Craftsy, and LoveKnitting.


review: The Knot Yours Truly

the knot yours truly

The Knot Yours Truly: Inspiration and ideas to personalize your wedding by Carley Roney and the editors of theknot.com

I don’t know if The Knot was a thing when I was planning a wedding – if it was I didn’t pay attention to it – but based on this book, it seems to be a Martha-Stewart-influenced approach for mostly White, mostly straight people. There are a few exceptions to that audience pictured in the book, but not many. The level of planning here is definitely at Martha standards – there are no shortage of things to think about and personalize and everything looks elegant, even when it’s in a rustic setting. Instructions for 20 DIY projects are included, though some are more likely to be applicable to any given wedding (a macrame dog leash feels like a real stretch). The table of contents is useless, though – the three main sections are listed but nothing beyond that, so trying to find something specific using it is a joke.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books


review: The RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants

The RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants

The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (4th edition)

If you are looking for a garden book to keep you busy for awhile, this one may hit that target. It is a tome, and at over 1000 pages, it has information galore. In addition to the individual plant entries, it also includes a guide to using the book as well as some botany information that will make reading the book easier (as well as understanding the relationships between plants and how they grow). Color photographs are included throughout (though not for every single entry) and show either a close-up of the leaf, fruit, or blossom, or a full photo for larger plants like some trees. With over 15,000 entries, this book includes a really large number of the plants you might want to know about.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the University of Michigan via the MeLCat interlibrary loan system


Awesome Arabella

Arabella Hat for Blythe

Got some bits of worsted weight yarn hanging around and nothing to do with such small amounts? Grab a set of size 7 (4.5mm) double-pointed needles and get to work, because you’ll soon have a sweet striped hat for Blythe (seriously, this hat will take you so little time to knit that you will hardly believe it).

Avail yourself of this pattern at LoveKnitting, Craftsy, Ravelry, and Etsy.


Live Lagom

Live Lagom

Live Lagom: Balanced living, the Swedish way by Anna Brones

Does the word hygge ring a bell for you? If so, lagom will sound familiar. While hygge is focused on coziness, lagom is more about balance, living with the ‘just right’ between extremes. It is both a personal thing and a social understanding: it’s good for the individual and for society. This is, to be sure, an oversimplification of a complex concept, but for the purposes of this review, you get the gist. This book hopes to convey the concept of lagom as an alternative to the ‘go big or go home’ attitude that pervades so much of western (especially American) culture. How much better would the world/environment/society/our health be if we weren’t so focused on being the biggest and best? This book lays out the concept and then addresses it in the specific contexts of work, home, health, and the environment in the form of things to think about, DIY projects, recipes, and more.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books


Hive Mind

Hive Hat

I often wear my hair up in a bun or loose pony, and I wanted to have a hat that would fit over that, so I wrote this pattern. It’s designed with a slouchy fit, so you have plenty of room for your head to feel comfy regardless of your hair situation.

Head over to Etsy, Ravelry, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy to pick up the Hive Hat.


review: The T-shirt Quilt Book

The T-shirt Quilt Book

The T-shirt Quilt Book: Create one-of-a-kind keepsakes, make 8 projects or design your own by Lindsay Conner and Carla Hegeman Crim

Most of us have a bunch of old t-shirts kicking around, many of which we probably don’t wear anymore but we don’t want to let go of because of their sentimental value. This book starts with the techniques you’ll need to master in order to sew your own t-shirt quilt and offers 8 projects you could make with your own tees. Most of the techniques will be familiar to those who have sewn a quilt before, though some may be new if you haven’t worked much with knit fabric before. For instance, the use of interfacing is critical to making t-shirt fabric cooperate in a medium where exact measurements matter. There are many more options here than just the ‘bunch of squares sewn together’ look that you’ve probably seen – not that there’s anything wrong with that design, there are just a lot of other ways to go about it!

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Cadillac Wexford Public Library through the MeLCat interlibrary loan system