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Twenty to Make


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About the Author

Jennifer Williams trained as a teacher of Home Economics in the 1960s but has been interested in crafts since the age of six. She learned how to crochet and do embroidery because she wanted to make a matinee jacket for her new baby brother. She learned tatting on her own when she left school , and over 40 years later and she is still learning.


Tatting produces a lacy effect that is perfect for capturing the fragile magic of snowflakes. There are the usual twenty in this book, each one with a girl's name, and all good examples of how beautiful and delicate tatting can look. This is a book of projects, and if you cannot tat you won't learn it here; beginners need to go elsewhere and there is a suggestion below. If you are a reasonably confident tatter who has learned the essentials, these patterns will test your skills. Some pieces incorporate beads, sequins, buttons or are even worked onto curtain rings. The author says that as long as you know the basics, any extra techniques are explained in the instructions, mostly with the aid of some clear drawn diagrams. Apart from that, instructions are in written form along with a diagram showing what goes where and a full page photograph giving a suggestion as to use. Snowflakes are shown as jewelry, coasters, tree decorations, appliques and more. At the beginning are helpful staged instructions showing folded and shuttle joins and how to use a picot gauge. A great wee book for all tatters that is sure to be a holiday favorite.

* Rachel Hyde - Myshelf.com *

Paracord is the latest material to be pressed into service for making jewelry, bags, belts and more. Once used for parachutes in WWII, it has come into its own as a beautiful and versatile craft material.

You don't need much to start making any of the items in this book. Just some cord, a lighter to seal the ends and workbasket basics. The book starts fairly immediately with the projects and you learn the knots as you go along. Start simply with a basic bangle and progress through necklaces, lanyards, string bags, straps for cameras and watches, mats, coasters, a dog lead, even a hammock and especially the old 70s macrame favorite, the hanging plant holder! Projects are grouped into three categories: jewelry, accessories and home/garden, and each one has staged instructions, usually with photographs showing how to do tricky parts. These are easy to follow and have a page sized photograph of the finished item, list of what you need and even a list of the knots you need to be able to tie. Many of the projects recycle the sort of old bits people often don't throw away, such as a belt buckle, watch face and even some copper tubes. At the back is a list of the knots with drawn diagrams: I personally prefer the photographic variety and some of the colors chosen to depict the stages are very pale. Yellow and pearl gray are not good choices on white! This aside, this is the best book I have seen to date on this new craft and is sure to garner many more fans of this new craft.

* Rachel Hyde - Myshelf.com *

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