Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Ok, so I know I told you that I would review Inside Crochet the next day.  I am a very naughty monkey I admit.  Instead of making a blob post I made cookies and went to a cocktail baby shower (more on that later).  I’ve got to start saying things like “in the next post” to absolve myself of responsibility for cookie explosions/cocktail baby showers.

So, today in penitence’s I am reviewing two things!  Both the first issue of Inside Crochet and the cocktail/baby shower.  Hold on to the seat of your pants folks it’s going to get crazy round here!

I was really excited when I heard about Inside Crochet coming out.  There are a few knitting magazines here that have crochet in the title, but if there is a single pattern in them you feel lucky.  For the UK to have a magazine devoted solely to crochet is great!  When I heard that Amy O’Neill Houck was one of the editors of it I got really excited.  Amy has a great blog called The Hook and I that I have written about here before I think in my very first post.  It is a great blog and I am always inspired by both her crochet projects and dinner ideas.  

One of the complaints that I have seen on places like Ravelry is that most of the designers were from the US or abroad, not the UK.  I’m not trying to diss UK crocheters or designers, but it seems to me that crochet design in the UK is not as sophisticated as that in the US.  This is still a very knitting-centric country and crochet is still considered little more than an afterthought most of the time.  I mean, the fact that this magazine is the first crochet magazine in the country  sort of proves this point really well.  I think that as the UK becomes more accustomed to crochet as more than blanket edging or doilies, there will be more designers coming from here.  

Most of the patterns in the magazine were quite lovely, with subtle stitching or color work to make up the designs.   All of the patterns had excellent photos taken from nearly every angle conceivable to make it easy to know what the hell the garment is supposed to look like.  The instructions were quite clear, though all written in British crochet terms so may be confusing for any American readers if they don’t know that there is a difference before they start.  There is a section on learning to crochet that clearly shows what’s what in British crochet terms.  

There is only one pattern that I honestly could not believe that they allowed into this magazine.  It is by the British designer Sasha Kagan called Petit Fleur.  I cannot find a picture of anyone who has made this yet so let me describe it for you.  It is a tank top made out of a mohair-like yarn.  The main color is in a olive green with magenta, purple and pea green parts to it.  It is a granny square compilation that ends well above the belly button.  Oh, and it has fringe.  This pattern looks as though it was taken directly from a Stitchy McYarnpants blog post about yarncrafts in the 1970’s and 80’s.  The only way that this pattern could have gotten any better/worse is if there were a pair of cameltoe inducing hotpants made from the same yarn and stitch pattern!  I felt sorry for the model.

Now, before you all jump down my throat for being mean, I do understand that it is a designers job to push the envelope a bit by trying new ideas out.  What I don’t understand is how it actually made it into this magazine.  Was it simply because she is a British designer and they seem to be sparse on the ground?  Or did it somehow look better before they actually saw pictures of it?  

Ok, enough about that design.  Overall, the magazine is well put together with clear pictures and a nice flow.  I would and will buy it again when the next issue comes out.

Now, onto the cocktail party/baby shower that I went to.  A lot of the folks that my husband has meet in the past year that he was here without me were in attendance.  It was nice to finally be able to put faces to names.  As many of these folks were also ex-pat Americans it was nice to hear that a lot of the things that I am going through are pretty normal.  Like not being able to get chocolate chips at the grocery store to make cookies!  The highlight of the evening in my opinion was the rather round mother-to-be walking around offering jello shots in little paper  cups with one hand on her prolific stomach, smiling like a Madonna painting.  If I ever have a baby shower type thing, this is what I want.  No pile of women playing children’s games in a room decked-out in pink and blue and yellow.  It was a fun night and I’m glad that I made the train ride…

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