• Product Reviews

    Ottlite Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp Review

    Ottlite Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp illuminating a crochet swatch and ball of yarn.
    This post may contain affilliate links. All opinions are my own.

    This week I was offered the chance to review a cool product that is not just great for the office, but great for crafters: the Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp from Ottlite. I know what you’re thinking “Sanitizing desk lamp?!”. That’s right, friends. The Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp has features that will apparently sanitize your desk, which I know is a big area of concern for us as we work our way through this pandemic. Keep reading to learn more about the light, and how you can enter to win one for yourself.

    Pin this for later HERE.

    The Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp is a beautiful, sleek lamp that sits on your desk and has the ability to fold flat for storage. It has two points that hinge so that you can adjust the light to your preference. It comes with a USB port, accessible on the base so that you can plug in your phone to charge it. There is another model, called the Purify Santizing Desk Lamp that has QI wireless charging if that’s more up your alley. I love how sleek the lamp is and it is really light-weight so when I’m crocheting in different rooms and I need that added light, it’s no issue for me to take it with me.

    As a crafter with light sensitivity issues, I had heard that Ottlites were great for reducing eyestrain so I couldn’t wait to give this light a try. According to the Ottlite site, the LED bulbs used in their lights have been shown to reduce eyestrain by up to 51%. That’s pretty significant when you consider how much screen time we all get and even more so when you have light sensitivity issues. I used this light almost daily for a period of almost 2 weeks and didn’t have any issues working close to it like I did with my old desk lamp. This arrived right at the perfect time for me actually because I was working on a large project with black yarn and it helped me see the stitches perfectly without me ending up with a massive migraine by the end of it. The light on the Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp is dimmable which was a great feature for me so when I need to adjust the light level when I do have a migraine, I can do that and continue my work.

    Illuminated crafting lamp, lighting up a plant and ball of yarn

    In addition to the dimmable light, this Ottlite model has three different light settings: ClearSun only (regular light), Clear Sun & SpectraClean (regular light and the santizing light together) and SpectraClean only (which is just the sanitizing light). These modes are changed via the little touch sensor on the base and easily switched through. The SpectraClean mode turns on a purple light in the lamp which is supposed to sanitize your work space.

    Does the Ottlite Emerge Sanitize?

    So the Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp is from this new series of lights from Ottlite that are aimed at sanitizing your workspace and are being launched during a pandemic, which makes my inner skeptic wake up and start paying attention. As I’m not a scientist and have no way of testing whether or not the technology is actually sanitizing my workspace or the hooks I left under it just in case it does work, I can’t say for certain. If the light is killing bacteria like they claim it does, then my crochet hooks have never been cleaner.

    Ottlite Emerge LED Sanitizing desk lamp in sanitizing mode
    Ottlite Emerge LED lamp in sanitizing mode

    I tried to find some independent, scientific studies that prove this light safely sanitizes stuff (which would satisfy the inner skeptic) but came up short of the marketing material offered for the lights. So the jury is still out whether it actually works as a santization device but I feel that I should remind everyone that handwashing with soap and water or cleaning your work space/tools with proper cleaners is a scientifcally proven way to protect yourself from germs.

    Overall, I love the light and have thoroughly enjoyed using it when I crochet in the evenings. I’m crocheting with dark yarns at night like it’s nothing and prior to the Ottlite, I would reserve those project to daylight hours only. If you’re interested in checking out the Emerge Sanitizing Desk Lamp or one of the other Ottlite lamps, you can check them out HERE.

    Win an Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp

    The lovely folks over at Ottlite are giving one of my followers a chance to win their very own Emerge LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp! The giveaway is happening over on my IG page and starts at 3pm EST and can be found HERE. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram and is open to U.S. entrants only. Giveaway closes Friday, March 12, 2021. Winner will be contacted via Instagram.

    Looking for more product reviews for crocheters? Check out some of my other reviews here:

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Mini Amigurumi Animals Review

    Cover of Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio in a flat lay with crochet tools
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Today I have a new book to share with you all called Mini Amigurumi Animals: 26 Tiny Creatures to Crochet by Sarah Abbondio. This book was just recently released by Search Press and I was excited to take a look at it and share my thoughts with you.

    Thanks to Search Press, they have provided us with a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky winner so keep reading to learn you you can possibly win a copy of Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio for yourself.

    This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

    Pin this Mini Amigurumi Animals Review for later SAVE

    Mini Amigurumi Animals has a lovely hard cover and a fun and colourful image on the front. As the title of the book suggests, there are 26 mini amigurumi project patterns contained in the book. The patterns are:

    • Rabbit
    • Dog
    • Hedgehog
    • Polar Bear
    • Sloth
    • Camel
    • Cat
    • Pig
    • Horse
    • Cow
    • Koala
    • Monkey
    • Leopard
    • Giraffe
    • Elk
    • Raccoon
    • Badger
    • Bear
    • Lion
    • Rhinoceros
    • Panda
    • Elephant
    • Fox
    • Mole
    • Squirrel
    • Mouse
    mini amigurumi animals lined up

    The patterns in Mini Amigurumi Animals are written in the UK terminology but a conversion chart is included in the beginning of the book to assist you should you not be familiar with these conversions already. The reference section at the beginning of the book walks you through the basic stitches used in the book but not much else. There were no extra tips or instructions on amigurumi assembly or finishing techniques were included. This would have been a really nice touch and made this book more accessible for crocheters new to amigurumi. As is, I’d say this book would be best suited for crocheters already familiar with amigurumi and how to assemble them, embroider noses etc.

    three crochet animals stacked in a pyramid

    The patterns use either fingering weight or DK weight cotton yarn and a 2.5mm crochet hook. Each animal, when made with the recommended yarn size, is approximately 2 inches or 6 centimeters tall. There was a note that since the patterns use a small amount of yarn, that these patterns are good for “odds and ends” yarns. I thought that was great but no yardage or actual yarn brand information is included anywhere in the book. Without that, I may not feel really confident in whether I had enough yarn on hand using scraps or odds and ends. The only yan information incuded is that the designer used balls of cotton yarn with between 174 – 185 yards per ball so I guess if you have at least 185 yards in your desired colours, you’d be good to go.

    The toys in Mini Amigurumi Animals are cute and probably some of the tidiest looking mini amigurumi projects that I’ve ever seen. If mini amigurumi projects aren’t your thing, you can always substitute a larger yarn and a larger hook size to make them bigger.

    mini amigurumi moose

    Each pattern is accompanied by at least one clear photo of the project but each pattern is brief and to the point with no additional support photos to guide you through the process. The patterns are clear and easy to understand.

    If you’re looking for a cute mini amigurumi resource then you may be interested in checking out this book as it is chock full of cute mini creatures. If you’re you’re an experienced amigurumi maker that likes a book that just cuts to the chase and doesn’t need all the added supports, then this may be a book you’ll want to add to your crochet library.

    If you’re interested in grabbing a copy of Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio, you can check it out HERE.

    4 tiny crochet animals from the book being reviewed

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Giveaway!

    Thanks to Search Press, I have a copy of the book Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Mini Amigurumi Animals Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to participants in the U.S., Canada and U.K. and ends Friday, January 22nd, 2021 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews,  Product Reviews

    Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern Review

    Woman modelling the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set being reviewed
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Thanks to our friends at Annie’s Craft Store, I have at copy of the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set pattern by Britt Schiesing to giveaway to one lucky winner. Before we get to the giveaway, I’ll let you know a bit more about the pattern you can enter to win.

    Pin this for later HERE.

    Materials used in the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern:

    • Yarn: This pattern uses 5 balls of Berroco Medina light weight (DK/size 3) cotton/acrylic/vicose yarn (3.5oz/295yds/100g per ball)
    • Hooks: 3.75mm and 3.5 mm crochet hooks
    • Tapestry Needle

    Sizes Included:

    The pattern incluses the following sizes:

    • Hat: 17/5 (19, 20.5)” in circumference x 9.5″ tall (small, medium and large)
    • Mitts: 7.5″ in circumference x 8.5″ tall (one size)
    • Scarf: 6.5″ wide x 72″ long (one size)

    This pattern is appropriate for intermediate level crocheters.

    If you want to purchase a copy of the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern by Britt Schmiesing, you can check it out HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern Giveaway

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I have a PDF copy of the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern by Britt Schmiesing to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    This pattern giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants (except where void by law) and ends Tuesday, January 5, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Product Reviews

    Cascading Blocks Throw Pattern Review and Giveaway!

    image of the Cascading Blocks Throw draped over a couch.
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Thanks to our friends at Annie’s Catalogue, I have at copy of the Cascading Blocks Throw pattern to giveaway to one lucky winner. Before we get to the giveaway, I’ll let you know a bit more about the pattern you can enter to win.

    This crochet throw pattern was designed by Rena V. Stevens. It is a gorgeous throw pattern that will easily become an heirloom piece because it just has that timeless look. This design uses the crochet staple granny square in a unique qay which produces a fun, chevron edge to the blanket. The finished blanket size is 49″ wide x 72″ long (excluding the fringe).

    Pin this for later HERE.

    Materials used in the Cascading Blocks Throw Blanket Pattern:

    • Premier Basix Worsted Weight Acrulic Yarn
      • 6 skeins in the main colour and 3 skeins in the accent colour
    • Size J/6mm Crochet Hook (or whatever size needed to obtain gauge)
    • Size Q/16mm crochet hook
    • Tapestry Needle
    • 20 Stitch Markers

    The pattern is rated as an intermediate level pattern.

    A diagram is included with the pattern to assist with assembling your blanket to ensure you get your granny square placement correct.

    If you want to purchase a copy of the Cascading Blocks Throw Pattern by Rena V. Stevens, you can check it out HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Cascading Blocks Throw Pattern Giveaway

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I have a PDF copy of the Cascading Blocks Throw Pattern by Rena V. Stevens to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    This pattern giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants and ends Friday, December 4th, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Modern Tunisian Crochet Book Review

    Collage of tunisian crochet projects available in Modern Tunisian Book
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Today we’re taking a look at the new book Modern Tunisian: 15 Easy Projects Along with Technique Tips and Tricks crochet pattern book from designer Mary Beth Temple and Leisure Arts. Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! Keep reading to learn more about this Modern Tunisian and how you can enter to win a copy of your own.

    Thank you to Leisure Arts who provided me this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Pin it for later Save

    As the title states, there are 15 tunisian crochet projects in Modern Tunisian. The projects are beautiful and range from small accessories, decor and wearables and the book gives all the patterns an “Easy” rating. The projects in Modern Tunisian are:

    • A Poncho,
    • A Boomerang Shawl
    • A Cowl,
    • A Harlequin Scarf
    • A Hat & Fingerless Mitten Set
    • A Sweater,
    • A Wall Hanging,
    • A Table Runner,
    • A Floor Pillow,
    • A Throw Pill,
    • A Blanket,
    • Some Placemants,
    • A Storage Basket and,
    • A Tote Bag.
    tunisian crochet jacket featured in Modern Tunisian

    Yarns and Tools Used in Modern Tunisian by Mary Beth Temple

    The yarns used in Modern Tunisian range in weights from 2 (fine) to 5 (bulky). The majority of the projects use size 3 (light) to 4 (medium) weight yarns. The book provides the yarn brands and colours that are used in the book at the back of the book in the resource section. The yarn brands used are accessible in many big box stores like Walmart or Michaels and you may already have many of them in your stash. The yarns are:

    • Red Heart It’s a Wrap Rainbow
    • Premier Everyday
    • Lion Brand Vanna’s Style
    • Caron X Pantone
    • Pantons Classic Wool DK Superwash
    • Lion Brand Hearthland
    • Lily Sugar ‘n Cream
    • Lion Brand Mandala
    • Red Heart Unforgettable
    • Bernat Roving
    • Bernat Handirafter
    • Bernat Softee Baby
    colourful harlequinn tunisian crochet scarf

    The main tools and hooks are used in Modern Tunisian:

    • Tunisian hooks in sizes 5.5 – 10mm
    • Standard crochet hooks in sizes 5 – 9mm
    • Tapestry Needle
    • Bobbins for Colour Work
    • Pillow forms if you’re making the pillows

    The above list is not inclusive list of all the supplies potentially needed. Some smaller, various supplies are needed for some of the projects but the above list should be sufficent to get you started with the majority of the projects in the book.

    Woman wearing a tunisian crochet cowl

    You’ll need to know the basic Tunisian Crochet Stitches: Tunisian Simple Stitch, Tunisian Knit Stitch, Tunisian Purl Stitch and how to decrease those stitches. In addition to the tunisian stitches, basic crochet stitches like single crochet, double crochet and crab stitch are used in the book. There is a very clearly illustrated reference section that the back of the book that helps with these techniques should you need a reminder or refresher.

    I really liked the jacket pattern in Modern Tunisian and may actually make it for myself. The jacket pattern comes in sizes small to 2XL. I found the patterns clear and easy to understand even as a person that’s relatively new to tunisian crochet. I enjoyed that the patterns illustrate that you can make some beautiful projects using just the absolute basic tunisian crochet stitches as a beginner tunisian crocheter.

    If you’re interested in checking out Modern Tunisian: 15 Easy Projects Along with Technique Tips and Tricks by Mary Beth Temple, it can be purchased HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Cover of Modern Tunisan by Mary Beth Temple

    Giveaway

    Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of Modern Tunisian: 15 Easy Projects Along with Technique Tips and Tricks by Mary Beth Temple to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Modern Tunisian Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants (void in Quebec and where prohibited by law) and ends Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Fair Isle Crochet Workshop Review

    Close up image of the front of the book Fair Isle Crochet Workshop
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    I was recently given the opportunity to review Fair Isle Crochet Workshop by Natasja Vreeswijk so today I want to share with you my thoughts on this book and give you an idea of what to expect if you’re considering purchasing this book. Thanks to Search Press, they have provided us with a a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky winner.

    This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

    Pin this for Later Save

    Fair Isle Crochet Workshop begins with a brief overview of basic techniques used in the book and walk through of the Fair Isle stitch technique. The technique utilized in this book is very similar to tapestry crochet in that the colour changes are carried inside the stitches and then brought back up when needed. The overview covers the technique, colour changes, crocheting in rounds & rows as well as the author’s tips & tricks for working with this technique. Since the majority of the designs in the book utilize the humble single crochet stitch this section doesn’t take up a lot of space in the book and doesn’t waste time jumping right into getting you started with it’s beautiful patterns.

    Inside cover of the book Fair Isle Crochet Workshop

    Fair Isle Crochet Workshop contains “15 modern projects for the home”, all of which are just beautiful. There is a throw blanket pattern in the book that is an absolute show stopper that I’m confident would garner compliments and inquiries from every visitor to your home.

    The projects in the book include patterns for:

    • Pillows
    • Blankets
    • Nursery Items
    • Plant Holders
    • A Ragdoll
    • A Clutch
    • A Pouffe
    • A Wall Hanging
    • and more!
    Tapesty crochet baby blanket pattern found inside the book

    The patterns are written in the UK terminology but to be honest, it is used sparingly as most of the patterns reference the charts and aren’t written out row by row. Directions for borders and special considerations are written out in more detail so it is something to keep in mind when reading those sections if you are most used to the US terminology. A UK to US terminology conversion chart is available in the front of the book, but again, since most of the patterns are comprised mostly of single crochet stitches, it isn’t something you’ll likely have to reference often, if at all.

    Modern crochet colourwork wall hanging image from the book being reviewed

    The charts are typically large enough to see and understand clearly. There were a couple of instances where I found the chart a little small and wish there was a way to enlarge them but, with some patience, I was capable of sorting things out. Grid lines/row & stitch numbers would have been helpful to have but, not a huge deal.

    The pictures of the patterns are clear and beautifully illustrate the projects, making it difficult to determine what project to start first. The projects really wash away any “crochet is for grannies” perception. The styling of the book finds a fun and unique way to mix vintage and modern styling and is a visual pleasure to flip through it’s pages to look at the pictures. I honestly probably flipped through the pictures at least 3 or 4 times before settling down to actually read the content.

    The projects in Fair Isle Crochet Workshop use a variety of yarns in different weights from fingering to aran. The yarns are available to most via the internet or at your local yarn store but could easily be substituted for other yarns you may already have in your stash.

    Overall, this book would be a great addition the crochet library of an intermediate level crocheter that enjoys or wants to work on more colourwork projects. The designs in the book are gorgeous and definitely worth checking out. If you want to purchase a copy of Fair Isle Crochet Workshop, you can check it out HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Back Cover of the Fair Isle Crochet Workshop book.

    Thanks to Search Press, I have a copy of the book Fair Isle Crochet Workshop by Natasja Vreeswijk to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Fair Isle Crochet Workshop Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to participants in the U.S., Canada and U.K. and ends Friday, August 28th, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Two-by-Two Crochet Book Review

    Cover of the Two-By-Two Crochet Book from Annie's
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I was given the opportunity to review one of their newest crochet book releases: Two-by-Two Crochet: 2 Colours; 2 Rows by Bendy Carter and I have a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! Keep reading to learn more about this book and how you can enter to win a copy of your own.

    Pin this for later HERE.

    The theme of Two-by-Two Crochet is crochet patterns that use two colours and two row repeats to create a design. Two-by-Two Crochet contains 8 different patterns using two colourways of yarn per design. One may make the assumption that the patterns in this book may look relatively simple but these designs are anything but. The designs in Two-by-Two Crochet are fun, textured designs with a high-level of visual interest to them. The designs range from hats to ruana scarves, blankets and ear warmers.

    image of the crochet ruana pattern available in two-by-two crochet.

    The patterns in this book are all rated as intermediate level. Post stitches are utilized heavily in these designs to create texture and visual interest. The designs are beautiful and interesting to execute. They could be done while binge-watching your favourite show, as long as you’re still able to pay attention to make sure you’re not accidently using a back post stitch when you should be using a front post stitch.

    A variety of yarn weights are used in the designs from fingering to super bulky. The yarn brands utilized are easily accessible yarns for most North American readers. You may even have some of the yarns used already in your stash so you could potentially get started right away.

    In the back of the book is a brief and clear reference section which is handy to have. I enjoyed the addition of a blank notes section for you to make any notes you may wish to make on the pattern, yarn selection etc.

    Image of the crochet spinning colours throw featured in the crochet book being reviewed

    As mentioned above, the patterns are rated as appropriate for intermediate level crocheters which I think this book would be perfect for. Two-by-Two is filled with patterns that are easy enough to crochet while watching TV but with enough interest to prevent you from getting stuck or bored.

    If you want to purchase a copy of Two-by-Two Crochet: 2 Colours; 2 Rows by Bendy Carter, you can check it out HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Cover of the Two-By-Two Crochet book available from Annie's

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I have a PDF copy of the book Two-by-Two Crochet: 2 Colours; 2 Rows by Bendy Carter to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Two-by-Two Crochet Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants and ends Friday, August 14th, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Giving Back Crochet by Jonah Larson Review

    Cover of Giving Back Crochet by Jonah Larson with a text overlay indicating this is a review of the book
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I was given the opportunity to review one of their newest crochet book releases: Giving Back Crochet by Jonah Larson and I have a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! Keep reading to learn more about this book and how you can enter to win a copy of your own.

    Jonah Larson is a world renowned crochet prodigy who taught himself to crochet using YouTube videos at the age of 5. This little guy has taken the crochet world by storm. His business, Jonah’s Hands, sells everything from apparel, memorbilia, items handmade by Jonah, videos and book. Giving Back Crochet is one of a few different crochet books that have been in the pipeline for Jonah and I’m excited to see what it has in store.

    crochet mittens in three different sizes and colours.

    Giving Back Crochet has 26 crochet patterns designed specifically for charitable giving. The book contains patterns for a variety of projects, some of which include:

    • Bracelets
    • Blankets
    • Hats
    • Scarves
    • Mittens
    • Baskets
    • Soap Sacks
    • Lip Balm Holder
    • Slippers

    The book includes a series of basic crochet instructions as a reference section in the back kof the book. The instructions are accompanied with illustrations to assist you through the written steps. The reference section was clear and easy to follow. The reference section did not contain the illustrated instructions for all the stitches/stitch variations used in the book but a quick Google search could get you anything you felt you needed further clarification on.

    Textured Crochet Beanies worn by a male and female in brown and blue.

    A fun item included in the book is a set of three different gift tags that you can print and cut out to include with your charitable crochet projects. Since this book is available as a printable PDF, you can print this page out over and over again to have an endless supply of tags to accompany all your projects.

    Check out the video version of this review

    The patterns in Giving Back Crochet are written in U.S. terminology and the patterns themselves were easy to follow. The projects use a variety of Yarnspirations yarns so finding the necessary materials to make the items couldn’t be easier. Some of the projects could be a bit on the pricey side though. There is a beautiful blanket pattern in the book that uses 10 balls of Bernat Blanket yarn, which normally runs at about $12 CAD plus tax here so could get a bit expensive. But, if you plan ahead and use sales/coupons, or substitute another more lower priced yarn, the blanket could be done for much cheaper which would enable you to donate more for the same cost. If the cost is not prohibitive to you, the Bold Blue Stripes blanket is really stunning and bound to wow anyone that you give it to.

    Blue and white corner to corner blanket pattern in Giving Back Crochet by Jonah Larson

    The patterns are accompanied by beautiful and clean photography that give you a really great sense of the finished projects.

    I would say that the book is suitable for an intermediate level, experienced crocheter. Because things like illustrated instructions for all stitch variations aren’t present, I think having some crochet knowledge would be helpful in using this book. But, as I said above, anything not present in the book can quickly be found with a quick Google search if you aren’t sure how to execute it.

    If you like to crochet for charity, the book contains some beautiful projects that give you enough variety that you don’t get burnt out making the same thing over and over again. If you want to purchase a copy of Giving Back Crochet by Jonah Larson, you can check it out HERE.

    Soap savers made with a crochet pattern found in the new Jonah Larson book.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I have a PDF copy of the book Giving Back Crochet by Jonah Larson to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Giving Back Crochet Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants and ends Friday, July 31st, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Product Reviews

    The Hook Nook Tools Review and Giveaway

    “This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own”

    We Crochet has recently launched a fun new line of products for crocheters on their website from social influencer and designer Jessica Cary of The Hook Nook. They’ve sent me some items from the Hook Nook tools product line to check out and share with you all. You can keep reading to check out a run down of what they sent and my review of The Hook Nook tools and accessories I was sent. A video review is available as well so you can see me open the products and check them out for the first time. Check out the Hook Nook Tool Shop HERE. I’m also giving away an epic Hook Nook Tools Set! Keep reading to learn how to enter.

    These products were provided to me free of charge but all opinions are my own.

    Before I get started in the review, I want to note how excited I am that We Crochet is making so many tools and accessories accessible to Canadians that were previously only accessible to the U.S.. Hook Nook tools were previously available for purchase only at Joanne’s stores, which we don’t have in Canada. So if you’re Canadian and have been drooling over these tools on Instagram, you can get them shipped directly to your door and they’re qualifier for free shipping, is really reasonable for shipping from the U.S..

    Check Out the Unboxing of The Hook Nook Products I Received

    The Hook Nook Crochet Hooks

    Blue Hook Nook Crochet hook in its packaging.

    We Crochet (crochet.com) has a few different types of crochet hooks from The Hook Nook available on their site. Some of which include a interchangeable crochet hook set, jumbo crochet hooks and standard plastic crochet hooks. I was sent a 6mm (J) plastic crochet hook. The hook itself was really comfortable to work with and light in my hand. The handle of the hook is longer than other hooks that I’ve used so it could be comfortable for people with large and small hands alike. There were no obvious rough spots that would be an issue while crocheting. Overall, it’s a pretty and good-quality crochet hook. They come in a full range of sizes on the Crochet.com website. You can check them and the other crochet hooks in The Hook Nook product line HERE.

    Skein Savers

    Gold and Marbelized Hook Nook Skein Savers from the Hook Nook Tools line of products

    The Hook Nook Skein Savers are fun and cute. They remind me of the hair elastics I used as a kid that had little plastic balls on them. But the little balls on these skein savers have skipped the neon and polka dots of those 90’s hair elastics and opted for more mature patterns like marbeling and matte gold. The Hook Nook Skein Savers are made to wrap around your skein of yarn to prevent it from unravelling. I’ve used mine to hold cakes of yarn together as well as to hold multiple mini skeins of yarn together to keep project colours together. They were particularly handy for that use and helped me keep those minis more organized in my on the go project bag. There are another line of skein savers that have faux fur balls on them that are fun as well. You can check out The Hook Nook Skein Savers HERE on the We Crochet website.

    Project Labels

    A set of project labels available in the new Hook Nook Tools product line available at Wecrochet.com.

    Also available from The Hook Nook is a range of project labels. There are currently wooden project labels, faux leather project labels and some fabric project labels. I was sent a set of the faux leather project labels.

    The faux leather project labels that I was sent contained 6 labels in 3 different shapes/sizes with 3 different sayings on them. The sayings were:

    • Hooked on You
    • Hand Crafted for Less Than Minimum Wage
    • One of a Kind and it Took Freaking Forever

    The labels themselves were soft, smooth and of good quality. The largest labels would be great to be added to blankets and the smaller two labels could be used for a variety of projects. The sayings are fun, sassy and relatable for not just crocheters but a wide-variety of crafters. Check out the Hook Nook Project Labels HERE.

    Bent-Tip Tapestry Needles

    Hook Nook Bent Tip Darning Needles

    The Hook Nook Tapestry Needles were my personal favourites. I can’t live without my bent tip tapestry needles and these tapestry needles were fab. The set comes with 6 gold tapestry needles in 2 different sizes. The tips are bent at a much bigger angle than any other bent tip needle I’ve tried.

    Beyond the needles themselves, the needles come in a small, sealable container. The container has a pretty gold rose on the cap and has a hexagonal shape to it. I mention the shape of the container because I thought it was a pretty cool design feature. All my other tapestry needle containers are round and that means that they can be prone to rolling off tables. The hexagonal shape of this container makes it much harder to roll so no more searching on the floor for fallen tapestry needle cases for me. You can check out The Hook Nook Tapestry Needles HERE.

    You can check out the full line of The Hook Nook Products HERE on the We Crochet website.

    I hope you enjoyed my Hook Nook Tools Review! While you’re here check out some of my other reviews:

    Hook Nook Tools Giveaway!

    Set of Hook Nook Tools and Accessories laid out on a white backdrop
    The Hook Nook Tools & Accessories up for grabs in the giveaway!

    The lovely folks over at We Crochet have generously provided some Hook Nook goodies for us to giveaway to one lucky reader! The giveaway package includes:

    • A Set of Skein Savers
    • 3 Enamel Pins
    • A Set of Darning Needles
    • An End Weaver Tool
    • A Notions Kit that includes: Scissors, Stitch Markers, Darning Needles, A Measuring Tape and a Zippered Storage Pouch

    The Hook Nook Tool Set Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to Canadian and U.S. participants and ends Friday, July 31st, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crocheted Birds by Vanessa Mooncie Review

    Copy of the book Crocheted Birds by Vanessa Mooncie and an amigurumi cardinal made using a pattern in the book.
    This post may contain affiliate links.

    I was recently given the opportunity to review Crocheted Birds by Vanessa Mooncie. In this book, Vanessa Mooncie provides the designs for 10 gorgeous, realistic amigurumi birds. Keep reading to learn more about this book and how you can enter to win a copy of the book.

    I have been a long-time admirer of Vanessa Mooncie’s work when I stumbled across her on Instagram and saw this beautiful picture of a show-stopping crochet barn owl. As an absolute owl-fanatic, I was hooked. I later learned that the pattern for that same crochet barn owl is in this book Crocheted Birds: A Flock of Feathered Friends to Make by Vanessa Mooncie. So when the chance to review this book became available, I was obviously all over it.

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    The designs in this book are absolutely gorgeous. I seriously love them. These designs aren’t your standard amigurumi designs though. They are meticiulously constructed and more of an art piece than a toy. The list of supplies needed for each bird is a little more extensive than you may expect because the designs utilize various gauges of wires which would require you to utilize pliers, glass teddy bear buttons for eyes and adhesives. Because of the wires and the glass eyes, these projects wouldn’t be appropriate to give to young children.

    Check out the video version of this review here:

    A copy of the Vanessa Mooncie Book Crocheted Birds with some furls crochet hooks and scissors

    Patterns are given in Crocheted Birds for the following birds:

    • Blackbird
    • Robin
    • Blue Tit
    • Wren
    • Budgie
    • Dove
    • Cardinal
    • Swan
    • Bald Eagle
    • Barn Owl
    Crocheted barn owl page inside the Crocheted Birds Book
    Crocheted Blue Tit Bird pattern image

    The projects are a variety of sizes. The largest being the bald eagle, followed by the swan. My favourite design is the barn owl but the swan is a close second. The designs to create realistic bird eggs for each bird species in the book are also included.

    Most people won’t have everything in their house to make the birds exactly as written but to get the desired effect, it’s worth the time to get the supplies. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, I was unable to obtain all the supplies necessary to make the birds exactly as written. But, I didn’t let that stop me. Knowing that my bird wouldn’t be exactly like the book, I decided to try one of the patterns with what I had on hand. I decided to give the cardinal a try since I had some red and black yarn on hand and after reading through the pattern, I figured I could accomplish something similar with my on hand materials.

    Image of the crochet cardinal available in the Crocheted Birds book

    The pattern worked up quickly and the techniques that are used in creating the patterns in this book really gave me an education in looking at amigurumi shaping in a completely different way. Rather than just working in rounds, short rows are used to assist in chaping the bird and creating the main part of the bird all in one piece. Despite the fact that I had never done amigurumi in this way, the pattern was clear and easy to understand. Charts are included for all of the patterns in this book to assist with ensuring the patterns are understood but honestly, I didn’t even need them.

    Crochet Cardinal on a white background

    Even without the exact same materials, my crochet cardinal turned out incredibly and I am really happy with how he turned out. I will probably make another one once I’m able tot get the proper wires because the legs on this one aren’t as strong as I’d like them to be, but I knew that was a possibility because I didn’t have the right materials on hand.

    The book is written in UK terminology and after looking for it, I found that a UK to US terminology conversion chart was included in the resource section in the back of the Crocheted Birds book. The resource section itself was well instrated, helpful and just, well, cool. There is a section that shows you step-by-step how to make the birds’ legs and as I’ve never attempted to make birds’ legs from wire, I found it really cool how it was accomplished. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The illustrations that accompanied the instructions were really helpful.

    Back Cover of the book showing some of the patterns inside.

    I think this book is best suited for intermediate level crocheters. Although there are great resources available in the book to assist you in creating the projects in Crochet Birds, ultimately, despite the clear instructions, I think the construction techniques may be confusing to beginners, and leave them frustrated.

    I absolutely love this book and it has become one of my favourite pattern books that I’ve come across in a while. Not only are the designs gorgeous, the book has taught me a few things and the unique construction of each bird kept me thoroughly engaged and interested from beginning to end. If you’re interested in birds, amigurumi or even just trying different amigurumi shaping techniques, this is a beautiful addition to your crochet library.

    If you want to check out Crocheted Birds: A Flock of Feathers Friends to Make by Vanessa Mooncie you can grab a copy of the book HERE.

    Follow Vanessa Mooncie, the author/designer of this book on Instagram: @vanessamooncie. I’ve also reviewed another book by Vanessa Mooncie called Simple Crocheted Hats. You can check out that review HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog: Kawaii Crochet by Melissa Bradley, Weekend Makes, Crocheted Toys by Emma Osmond, Dinosaurs to Crochet by Megan Kreiner, The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop by Dora Ohrenstein. You can find all my crochet book reviews HERE.

    Crocheted Birds Book Giveaway

    Front cover of the book Crocheted Birds by Vanessa Mooncie

    Thanks to GMC Publications, I have a copy of this beautiful book to giveaway to one lucky winner.

    The Crocheted Birds Book Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to Canadian and U.S. participants and ends Friday, June 19, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.