Bargain Book Finds

hooked-cover-imaage1Book bargains are great news for readers, especially if you’re on a tight budget like me. And as a writer, I am happy that my books might be picked up by readers who might not want, or be able to pay full price. I have discovered some brilliant designers by shopping in  bargain book shops and my local charity shop and I can never pass the door of a second hand bookshop without peeking inside for “just a minute”. Luckily, Mr T shares by book love, so he’s happy to accompany me.

Lately, I have snagged some absolute bargains while mooching in The Works. These include the wonderful Claire Montgomerie’s book Hooked, which I picked up for the bargain price of £4 and Knitting from the North by Hilary Grant for just a fiver!

Both books are excellent and I love them both. I noticed both are also on offer at other online bookshops (including Amazon and The Book Depository), so if you still have Christmas money to spend, these are both perfect choices – you won’t be disappointed. Even at full price they are both excellent value and will earn their keep on your crafting bookshelf as you dip into them time and again.

So, what makes them such great books?

let’s start with Hooked by Claire Montgomerie. Once Editor of Inside Crochet magazine, Claire has a long list of successful knitting and crochet books. Hooked, published in May 2016 is her latest and perhaps best crochet book (that’s just my opinion). It is filled with beautifull projects aimed at beginners, but even the more experienced hooker will find themselves wanting to make almost everything. The styling and photography are fresh and modern. I love the colour palette Claire has chosen – and can’t help noticing she’s sneaked in several projects with her own favourite colours – the Chevron Clutch, Granny Square Blanket and Tiny Coin Purse are stunning.

As you would expect, the first chapter takes you through the basics, holding your hook, reading a pattern and basic techniques. Subsequent chapters are designed to extend your skills and challenge you to try new techniques. The Striped Pencil Case for example has a useful tip about avoiding “jogs” in your stripes. There is a useful glossary at the back and a well designed index so you can look up projects and techniques easily.

I have recommended this book to lots of crocheters (new and more experienced) and I know a couple found a copy under their tree, so I’m looking forward to seeing their makes. So, congratulations Claire on producing another beautiful and useful book to add to my groaning bookshelf!

Next,  Knitting from the North by Hilary Grant. I just adore this book. Filled with colour work patterns inspired by Fair Isle and Icelandic knitting techniques this isn’t a book for beginners. It’s light on technical advice, although there are a few pages at the beginning which skim over double knitting, grafting and making a pom pom. You’ll also find advice on caring for your knits and how to prevent moth damage. If you haven’t tried stranded colour work before I’d recommend a good technique book or a patient friend to guide you through some simple techniques, and you might find yourself looking up provisional cast on tutorials and working from charts if these aren’t already aprt of your knitting skill set. But, few knitters will be picking this up expecting a “how to”, it’s a snapshot into Hilary Grant’s creative process, her design inspiration and a chance to knit some truly beautiful accessories.

The real beauty of this book lies in  the short text that accompanies each pattern and of course the photography. Each pattern is accompanied by a stunning collection of images which are  almost a love letter to the Scottish landscape. The first project, Beacon Pom Pom Hat is less than half a page, but the 3 pages of photographs which accompany it had me gasping at how such a simple knit can be so beautiful. It is also a perfect project for the less confident knitter to begin with.

This collection adapts some of Hilary’s most popular machine knits and  is filled with graphic patterns, flattering shapes and simple designs that hand knitters can recreate at home. Practical hats, snoods and sweaters suitable for all skill levels will inspire you  and no doubt (like me) you’ll find yourself googling trips to  Orkney to see for yourself the stunning backgrounds showcased in the photographs. The colours chosen for each design are beautiful, although it’s rare for me to knit anything in exactly the same colours as shown in the pattern, this is one book where I would be tempted to make everything just as it is.

In short, I love this book. I have spent hours just gazing at the photographs, planning projects and colour schemes. It’s a book I will buy for friends and certainly not one I shall be lending out. It will sit with me for years, and every now and again I shall knit myself something beautiful from it’s pages.

 

 

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  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

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  • And so it begins - checking the text actually fits the flatplan, swatching, proofreading & wondering why I put myself through this! New book nerves!!! Really looking forward to sharing this one' progress from plans to print over the next few months
#amwriting #crochet #horgolás #haken #haaktechniekenbijbel #uncinetto #grannycoolcrochet #crochetgirlgang #crochetconcupiscence Toadstools - definitely not the edible kind! Hooking up a few of these today & remembering how satisfying quick crochet projects can be!
#crochet #amigurumi #lovecrochet #naturalfibres #grannycoolcrochet  #horgolás #crochetmakesmehappy #häkeln #crocheteveryday The perfect yarn / button combination? About to cast on a baby cardigan, an excuse to use these beautiful buttons from @textilegarden. I like to use natural fibres and this wool & mohair blend from @thefibrecompany is a firm favourite, especially as it contains a proportion of British wool. We should celebrate our British wool industry & the farmers & shepgerds who give us beautiful, sustainable fibres to work with. 
#choosewool  #britishwool #supportbritishwool #knittersofinstagram #wool #buttons #knitting #yarnlover #woolweek #woolworks #madewiththefibreco Exciting post! My review copy of @emmavarnam 's new book just arrived. Can't wait to sit down with a cuppa and enjoy this! Perfect inspiration for the ladies on my next granny squares workshop.
#grannysquares #grannysquares rock #grannycoolcrochet #grannysquarelove #amigurumi #crochetblanket Yesterday I made more elderberry jelly, but ran out of jars! Lucky my neighbour saves all hers & what was left is now in  one of my @littlewrenpottery bowls. It feels like we're approaching peak autumn here, the starlings have stripped the rowan tree of its berries, the oak leaves are turning and the forest floor is strewn with sweet chesnuts. This really is my favourite season. 
#embracingautumn #upandautumn #autumn #thisautumnlife #slowliving #homesteading Weekend window view. I spent the weekend staying with a friend in Derbyshire, every time I visit the view from my bedroom window changes a little. On Saturday morning I sat drinking tea in bed watching the river, hoping to see a kingfisher, but content just to see the ducks!
#morningslikethese #slowliving #thewayweliveinthecountry #wildweekends
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