Category: Book Review
|August 10, 2015||Filled under Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway|
I love Mondays! And it is a very special one because I am honoring MaryJane Hall on the release of her new Colorful Crochet Lace book! I cannot tell you how excited I am for MaryJane and how I am thrilled to be a part of this blog tour! I am posting an interview (see below) I did with MaryJane to feature her on this very special and emotional day for her, sharing my experience making the Juliette scarf, hosting giveaway and showing photos of the designs included in the book.
MaryJane Hall is a crochet designer and bestselling author of Positively Crochet! and Crochet That Fits, which was voted “Best Crochet Pattern Book of 2008” by Crochet Liberation Front. She is a mentor with the CGOA and speaks at various crochet gatherings and fashion shows. MaryJane has designed for popular magazines, including Interweave Crochet, Vogue Knitting Crochet, and Fifth Avenue Fashion Magazine and has appeared on the TV show Knit & Crochet Now.
Please let me introduce her new book:
ISBN 13: 9781620336984
Number Of Pages: 160
This, very well and beautifully designed by Interweave book, includes 22 stunning and trendy lace garments and accessories presented in Ooh Là Là and chic Parisian theme. You will be pleasant to find fantastic designs for scarfs, tunics, tops, cardigans, shrugs, t-shirts and totes! The designs are worked in a variety of yarn weights and color range from elegant jewel tones to earthy neutrals. But sure these such versatile and trendy designs can be made in any colors by your choice!
With clear and detailed instructions and stitch diagrams, and gorgeous photography, Colorful Crochet Lace makes it easy and fun to create exquisite crochet fashions. Some projects are constructed using the Graduated Stitch Method, a technique MaryJane developed that allows for shaping and customized fit without increases or decreases, and many of the patterns include instructions for modifying designs and creating variations.
Below are some projects from the book, isn’t they are simple gorgeous!
To find all designs included in the book, please check this link.
And now, I would love you to meet MaryJane Hall, beyond talented crochet designer, dear friend and such amazing person:
Your designs are beautiful, entrancing and unique. What inspires you?
I have always been the kind of person who wants to go the extra mile and work “outside the box”, but at the same time I really do want to produce wearable patterns that will appeal to a variety of people. When I’m working on a sketch I’m thinking “Is this something I would wear” or better yet “Is this something my fashionista daughter would wear?” So I guess you could say I want to create patterns I think would be in demand and that’s what drives me!
When did you start crocheting and who taught you?
I taught myself to crochet from a book when I was 18 and I’m normally the kind of person who wants to be “shown” how to do things. This makes me know anyone who wants to learn to crochet can do it and they don’t need to be intimidated. I always say if they can learn how to hold the hook and yarn, they can make anything! And it’s really true.
How long have you been designing? What got you interested in crochet?
I’ve been crocheting 40+ years and got interested back in the early 70’s when crochet was all the rage. Then when crochet came back on the scene in 2004 after a 30 year silence, I started designing.
How did you become interested in actual designing in crochet?
Since there was a huge surge in crochet that year, of course I jumped on the bandwagon and started designing because I knew several people who wanted to learn to crochet the stylish ponchos that were in the stores. I couldn’t find updated patterns so I started designing ponchos to help the girls in my crochet class. The rest is history!
I love your style; where does your style come from?
I really like feminine styles – just anything girly, well kind of like your girly designs Alla! I think we are kindred spirits because I love everything you have ever designed! Love the lace, ruffles, fitted designs. And if I see a shape or style in a magazine or on the runway that I’m crazy about, I’m determined and motivated to see if I can come up with something in crochet. It’s a challenge for me and I love it!
What have you learned during your designing years? How did your style or techniques change?
I began designing small things such as hats, purses, slippers, belts, scarves and ponchos which we all pretty easy. I like quick projects and in fact would love to do a book on quick gifts someday. But when I started working on Positively Crochet with 50 patterns, I wanted to have more variety which is something I thought would sell. In other words, something for everyone, and that’s when I got into larger projects such as sweaters and skirts.
What have I learned? I’ve learned that sometimes the things you think will be the most simple to make, turn out to be the hardest and some I thought will be difficult to design, turned out to be much easier than I thought. I’m always pushing myself and there’s probably not anything I wouldn’t try to design. I’m pretty driven.
What tips and advice would you give to brand new crocheters?
1. I would tell them to be patient, don’t give up, and ask for help if you need to.
2. If you are working from a pattern that doesn’t make sense to you and you think there may be an error but can’t find any corrections on the web, then just do what looks right! If I had been given that advice way back when I started crocheting, I would have prevented a lot of stress over the years. I never even considered that patterns could have an error. I always thought it was just me!
3. Another bit of advice for beginners is when they want to make a pattern, I think it is best if they do not read ahead! You might wonder why I would say that. There was a girl who wrote me saying there were errors in a pattern, but she also had questions on other parts she just didn’t understand. There did end up being a couple of minor errors (corrected on my blog), but we spent days writing back and forth while I was trying to explain some things she didn’t understand. I later found out she had read ahead in the pattern and even though she’d asked me those questions, when she actually started crocheting the top, she did understand it on her own. Then I told her I would not recommend reading ahead because even I, a very experienced crocheter, get confused on a pattern if I start reading ahead. It makes much more sense when you start working it, step by step.
When you are not crocheting, where can we find you? What are some of your other passions and interests?
You’d find me in the kitchen a lot! I love to cook and come up with new dishes. In fact I have a collection of over 300 cookbooks and I have just as many food boards on Pinterest as I have boards on crochet. I like to entertain and host dinners for family and friends.
You could also find me browsing thrift stores, flea markets and antique shops. I find lots of treasures at thrift stores and Dayton is known for having some of the best in the country.
And people would be surprised to know that I am addicted to the History channel. I love to watch shows like “America Unearthed” and shows about “Lost “Civilizations”.
I also play the guitar and sang professionally for many years at fairs, festivals and other events, but stopped when I started designing. I do have a CD of some of the songs in my repertoire.
Is there anything you wished I asked you and I didn’t? Please feel free to add anything!
I was born in Texas and lived in Oklahoma, the Philippines, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and graduated from HS in Natchitoches, La, the town where the movie Steel Magnolias was filmed. My husband, whom I met in college was from Ohio, so that’s how I ended up here.
I’ve been to 8 other countries and across the Pacific Ocean twice but havent had a chance to go to Paris and Italy (where my ancestors are from). My love of anything Parisian is why I wanted to do the book in that theme with sidewalk cafes and gardens.
Thank you so much MaryJane for such interesting interview! Wow, over 300 cookbooks?! I am totally impressed!
… Oh and you made me blushing with your answer on one of interview questions ;o) Thank you so much MaryJane! I wish I would have a half of your talent!
I love so many projects from Colorful Crochet Lace book, and will definitely make more of them, and must to admit that I immediately fell in love with Juliette Scarf! Made with one of my favorite Silk Bamboo yarn by Patons, this pattern is very easy to follow and includes pretty detail stitch diagram (my favorite part!). To show you how versatile and differently this gorgeous design may looks, I made the scarf in royal blue color and “turned” it into a autumn theme. I am so glad with result and will keep it for myself for sure!
And last, but not least… we have a GIVEAWAY for you! One lucky in the world will receive a copy of this gorgeous book (US readers will get a paperback copy, and international readers – a digital copy in PDF format)
Simply leave a comment on this blog post and let us know which is your favorite design.
- This giveaway starts today, August 10th and will end Monday, August 17 2015 at 11:59pm PST.
- The winner will be selected with random.org’s random number generator and notified by email on Tuesday, August, 18th.
Here are the additional stops on this tour:
Colorful Crochet Lace Book Blog Tour Schedule
- Knit Crochet Craft – Vickie Howell (Mary Jane will be Vickie’s guest blogger that day, kicking off the tour 8/4)
- Outstanding Crochet – Natalia Kononova (review and promotional giveaway 8/5) +photos of her project
- Bonnie Bay – Bonnie Barker (review, interview, and promotional giveaway 8/6) She’s making a project
- Crochetville – Amy Shelton (she’ll show the Au Naturel Top she made, review, promotional giveaway 8/7) Amy made the Au Natural Cropped Top and will share her picturesj
- My Little City Girl – Alla Koval (she’ll show the Juliette Scarf she made , interview, and review 8/10). Alla made a project which she will share.
- Yarn Thing Podcast – Marly Bird (author interview podcast 8/13)
- Hook & Needle Designs – Lisa Gentry (8/14)
- GoCrochet – Ellen Gormley (review and author interview) (8/17)
- Turquoiz Blue – This is Crochet – Turquoiz Blue (8/18)
- Cute Crochet Chat – Jocelyn Sass (review and promotional giveaway 8/19)
- Hot Lava Crochet – Tammy Hildebrand (interview, review, and promotional giveaway 8/20)
- The Crochet Architect – Susan Lowman 8/21
- Crochet Renee – Renee Rogers 8/24
A wonderful and happy Monday everyone!!
|August 15, 2014||Filled under Book Review|
I am so excited to name our Winner – Vanessa (comment #5)!! My CONGRATULATIONS, Vanessa!! I’ll email your eBook just in a second ;o)
Thank you so much everyone who participated in the contest! Oh, and make sure to order your own book, you will love it!!
|August 7, 2014||Filled under Book Review|
My first book review, how exciting! ;o)
Delicious book by Annastasia Cruz Iris Schreier, Baby Hats, has 32 pages of 10 beautiful crochet hat projects for babies 3-12 monts. Annastasia is the wonderful and talented designer behind My Treasured Heirlooms. She loves knitting, crocheting, sewing, cross stitch and other embroidery, smocking, and am learning to tat.
All designs are lovely and very wearable, and will be just adorable for little wonders in your life (and what a precious models)!!. Each design is sized for 3, 6, and 12 months, is quick and easy to make with pretty clear instructions. Projects using medium weight yarn include Brimmed Hat with Flower; Cap with Brim; Bunny Hat; Cloche; Striped Hat; Folded Brim Hat; Spiral Hat; Pixie Bonnet; and Bear Hat. Heirloom Hat is made using lightweight yarn.
In addition to the such adorable crochet patterns, this book includes online technique videos, which will be just great and helpful for novice crocheters.
Oh, and, I am having a GIVEAWAY of this book! Annastasia kindly provided a copy of the eBook for my readers.
Just comment to this post here (on mylittlecitygirl.com).
This contest starts today, August 6, 2014 and will end on August 14, 2014 at 11:59pm PST.
I’ll select the winner with random.org’s random number generator. The winner will be notified by email on Tuesday, August 15, 2014.
Do not miss all other wonderful blogs on this tour. Next stop is tomorrow at Petals to Picots.