Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for Louise K > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Louise K
Top Reviewer Ranking: 12,468
Helpful Votes: 655

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Louise K (England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
pixel
Animals (How to Draw)
Animals (How to Draw)
by Susie Hodge
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars if I could, 19 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Animals (How to Draw) (Paperback)
I do like this book, the information it contains about drawing animals is very good. I thought it had very useful information about how to approach drawing animals, techniques etc. How shapes can be used to determine an outline for your drawing was explained well. I also enjoyed being talked through making the various drawings. However, it says it is a drawing book which it is, but I took that to mean that it would be concentrating on using pencil. It has a couple of exercises to go through which use pencil but the others use other media such as ink, or pastels. I found this to be running before I can walk and would have liked all the examples to be in pencil primarily, perhaps with suggestions for other options.

There are 10 animal drawings that are gone through with instructions. I found it odd that none of the animals chosen were particularly appealing of their species. I found the quality of drawings to be reasonable while some had more charm than others. After the chosen lesson, you are told how you might approach the same drawing in a different media but there is limited help to do so. There is then the same kind of animal but a different photo. I found most of the photographs for all sections a strange choice. Most of them were rather hazy and even out of focus and it is hard to delineate the outline of the animal from its surroundings. They are also quite dark in places. The photos in the alternative sections were by far the worst in this respect. I also have to say that kitten photos are not hard to find so why do we need to have a sickly looking little thing with watery eyes? The rabbit chosen is quite hard nosed to look at, so if you like you animals cute and fluffy this is not the best book.If the drawings were not there to work from, I would find the photos themselves intimidating and not user friendly.

I certainly don't feel I want to use the photos from this book but I will use the tutorials for the animals which ARE drawn in pencil and use the information given (which I found to be more useful than in many books), to draw animals from life or using different photos instead. Despite my grumpiness about the book, I found much that was helpful and useful to me which I hope to use in my own drawings which is why I have given it 4 stars rather than 3 (3.5 being nearer the mark).


The Gentle Art of Knitting
The Gentle Art of Knitting
by Jane Brocket
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Art of knitting?, 26 Aug. 2011
A generous 3 stars is all I am able to give this book. I really do not agree with the amount of high praise for it. The choice of patterns in this book is limited. At first glance it is pretty but there are only two projects I would make - the knitted blanket and the crochet blanket. There are many similar and prettier blankets free online on Ravelry, competing blogs and other sites. The knitted blanket although lovely is so simple a ten year old wouldn't need a pattern. Other patterns such as a hot water bottle cover are nice as a concept but there are just more attractive designs that I would make instead - knitting is an investment of time and money so unless I really loved a pattern I would not bother with it. The styling of the book is a bit misleading in my view as it encourages you at first glance to see the rather ordinary patterns as nicer than they actually are.

The yarn suggested for making the tea cosy apparently costs £55 according to an online review I read and according to a reviewer on here, if I understand correctly, it will cost £100 to make 2 cushions. This is just unnecessary. I realise one can use whatever yarn one wants but I find the whole concept of this book over indulgent. The less than subtle message is, if you can't afford to do it `right' then don't do it. After you have purchased the book of course (and that is the most affordable thing). It offers the dream, but unless you too can afford expensive yarn, that is all your knitting will remain; at least if you want it to look like the version in the book. The blog too is like this, an elitist message offering a luxury lifestyle for people to aspire to but really only available for a very rare few who have the ready cash available. Beauty is easy with minimum effort from luxury materials, a luxury yarn is already beautiful is it not? Some people have the artistry to make beauty from just about anything. There is self-satisfied note to this book which I don't enjoy.

I remember reading that Jane Brocket had no pretensions to be a designer as those skills were not really hers, rather, she enjoyed using patterns. I think it is a great shame that much actual talent is ignored while someone with a lot of support produces very basic and uninspiring patterns at their expense. A complaint made about the first book was that it had no patterns - there was a reason for that!

It is a glossy book with little of actual merit to recommend it once the shine has worn off. I also do myself find the idea of a knitted apron totally bizarre. That of course is a matter of taste. I am sorry to have fallen for the hype and will be passing the book on. (Perhaps to someone who doesn't knit but enjoys pretty pictures).


The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags
The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags
by Lisa Lam
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

12 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One problem with this book, 4 Dec. 2010
The one problem with this book is that I don't like any of the bags in it - and I mean any of them! So obviously I feel disappointed. I find the designs clunky and awkward and none of them anything I would remotely like to make. I am very fond of fabric bags so this is a surprise.

However, this bag really is a bible as far as techniques are concerned. There is so much advice and information about making the various bits and pieces involved in piecing a bag together that it is a worthwhile book to add to your collection. I'm hoping it will help me to produce my own designs; at the moment I'm going to use some other patterns to get started with. It's just a shame I don't like the patterns in here.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 17, 2012 9:01 AM BST


English Garden Embroidery
English Garden Embroidery
by Stafford Whiteaker
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book, 24 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was attracted to this book by the adorable owl on the cover, so I ordered this book. I am not disappointed as I find this book has some beautiful designs. As well as the lovely owl there is a pigeon on a gate (my personal favourite), a grey reclining cat, a pretty rabbit and a Christmas robin. There are also numerous floral designs - a rather wonderful rose geometric which would be a great cushion design, poppies, cherries, tulips, geraniums. There are so many and they are really nice designs. Now, one of the things that you may not like about this book is that apart from the cover there are no finished examples. Don't let this put you off! The designs can still be seen beautifully in their colour charts.

This book is much more than the above, it also has anecdotes and stories, not to mention poems about its subject matter. There is also a history of the art of needlepoint. It is actually a gem of a book and I expect to be very busy with it soon. There is lots of advise at the beginning of the book, about how to approach the projects. I love this book and am so pleased that the owl caught my eye.


Embroidery Companion
Embroidery Companion
by Alicia Paulson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So happy to have bought this book, 20 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Embroidery Companion (Paperback)
This is a really beautiful book and for anyone who reads Posy Gets Cosy - Alicia Paulson's blog this is a must have treat for yourself. Even if you never make anything, it it such a gorgeous book to look at and keep nearby that you won't regret buying it. I had my doubts about purchasing this as often craft books are so very disappointing - even if you know the author's work and are looking forward to it. There are no such feelings here. All photography and styling are done by Alicia too and it all looks wonderful!

It covers three main areas. Surface or decorational embroidery using cotton threads utilises embroidery to make beautiful pillowcases, a child's quilt, decorated curtains and hairband, a table cloth and shelf-edging to name some of the projects. There are some very pretty designs which can easily be adapted to decorate whatever YOU want. There are some items not to my taste (I am not going to wear a kerchief on my head for instance, nor are aprons my thing) but the designs can be put on to something you will appreciate. The skirt on the cover is shown in full (including how to make the skirt). The cross stitch section has some lovely designs; my favourites are a lovely berry cushion and an eyelet sampler - this is a one colour pretty sampler done on a high count linen (the next step from using aida fabric); It is charming. The headband using cross stitch could also be used as a curtain tie-back. There is a simple but effective blackwork sampler design - a good place to start if you, as I am, are wanting to learn this technique. There is also a lovely traditional sampler - with house, alphabet, people and little animals. There is a lovely design for Karim curtains (cafe style curtains) with a deep cross stitch design border on which the rest of the curtain is attached - a really pretty bird design and a talking point in your house should you make them, I'm sure!

The crewel work section is lovely - crewel embroidery works with wool. Her tree of life is a beautiful folk art type design - if you google Alicia Paulson Tree of life you will find pictures of this and also a couple of other designs.There is also a traditional woodland scene which would be lovely to do. These are both larger designs. A smaller but equally lovely design is a cushion with a bird, flowers and leaves. There is a snowflakes/ fir tree hot water bottle cover as well as other smaller projects - the gingerbread heart mobile is rather pretty.

This is an excellent book - the designs are well set out and there are clear instructions. You will have to do some preparation work - some patterns need to be copied and enlarged. It's good value as there are bound to be several projects that will appeal to most people and it is encouraging to the beginner, while providing worthwhile projects for the beginner and more advanced.It is also an inspirational book - you might change some of the designs, do your own or make something different to Alicia but it is a lovely resource. There are certainly rather a lot of things I want to make. Stitch guides are all very well and necessary but it is invaluable to have such a lovely project book as this. It also reads as warmly and as well as the blog. Get this book quickly so you can make up some lovely Christmas presents - or put this book on your own list for Santa. I do recommend!


"Harmony" Guide to Crochet Stitches
"Harmony" Guide to Crochet Stitches
by James Walters
Edition: Paperback

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best allround crochet book I have, 10 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have ordered many crochet books promising me lots of know how and they sadly failed to live up to expectations. For the knowledge it contains this is the best book on crochet that I have. It is excellent. Lets get the downside out of the way first. It is not a beautiful book - the pages are rough and the drawn diagrams of the basic stitches replace the common photography in most instructional books. However they are extremely clear and I believe you could learn how to crochet from this book. However, it is much more than that. It has many stitches all ordered into groups and clear (if old fashioned on black background)) photographs of them all. There are also lots of motifs - squares and otherwise to keep you happy for quite a while. Many of them are very attractive. There are instructions on sewing or joining your motifs or pieces together. All bases are covered - whip stitch, woven stitch and crochet seams. Joining as you go is also here (you may need more on that but many books have nothing - searching online is your best bet for that as there are videos and tutorials). There is also the foundation row crochet method in here - instead of doing a row of chains then a row of crochet into them you crochet straight away without the need for a long chain - called the double base chain in this book. There are charts for the stitches as well as written instructions. This is the same book as the Harmony 300 stitches book (at least as I am led to believe from the authors web page)but an older and also much cheaper version. The new Harmony guide is as far as I am aware not the same. I was going to purchase a newer crochet stitch guide but the photos are clearer in here; the stitches for the most part look very attractive and I believe there is more material overall. It may be old but this book is fantastic. I highly recommend it.


Doodle Stitching: Fresh and Fun Embroidery for Beginners
Doodle Stitching: Fresh and Fun Embroidery for Beginners
by Aimee Ray
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never judge a book...., 7 Nov. 2010
What drew your attention to this book? Was it the cover? Well unfortunately you won't find the lovely embroidery that illustrates the cover in this book! There are other pictures too that you won't find information for. I call that very misleading and rather unfair. If you are in a book shop flicking through this you would see the lovely designs and want them - more than that, you would think you are buying them. Well no, if you want them you can buy them (or similar) but it will cost you extra. The author has a shop on etsy and for and extra £2.50 or so you can purchase the cover picture. However it is not exactly the same and suffers because of it - hence I did not purchase. I found the designs included overly simplistic. Most of the embroidery around today is very basic - just outline stitching. Although as we can see, it is a technique that is most charming when used well and it is a good place to start. I don't like what is left in this book so much as what is not in it. I daresay those decisions were made editorially and had nothing to do with the author herself. I would not endorse this book - why not try your own 'doodles'?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2011 7:16 PM BST


Learn to Crochet: Clear stitch diagrams and instructions. 20 simple projects to make
Learn to Crochet: Clear stitch diagrams and instructions. 20 simple projects to make
by Sally Harding
Edition: Paperback

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the basics, 6 Nov. 2010
I learn to crochet when I was a child, I was taught several stitches but wasn't told about turning chains - hence row after row got wonkier and wonkier. As an adult I wanted a recap and to learn more. There wasn't much available at the time but this little book cropped up. I use it to remind myself of the basic stitches and how many turning chains are needed for each stitch etc (these are things I regularly forget!)I found it delivered the information in a clear way and with good pictures for clarity. It has been the best book for delivering the basics that all crocheters need. It is concise and you will need more but this book will get you to that stage - it won't promise that you can run before you walk, it will get you proficient at the building blocks and then it will be up to you. The projects are not bad. I've given it 5 stars because it concentrates on the important bits and explains them properly and well.


201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas
201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas
by Melody Griffiths
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh the possibilities!, 6 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a really lovely and inspiring crochet book. It has beautiful pictures using lovely colours. Each of the motifs and blocks is presented in full colour with full written instructions and charts. The projects pages at the back of the book take the motifs and blocks presented and use them in practical and imaginative ways. Even if they are not to your taste, it shows how our own projects could be put together. The shapes given can be used for lovely scarves, blankets, coasters, bags and even clothes. Many of them are very lovely indeed. There is a good range and sure to be something to suit. The blocks show a technique rarely shown well - jacquard or 'picture' crochet ( a bit like intarsia in knitting). There are some lovely little animal blocks that are constructed quite simply, it must be noted however, that details are embroidered. Using the information gleaned by making these squares it would be possible to design your own - with flowers rather than animals perhaps? At the front of the book there are both flowers to make and also blocks using floral design or motifs. There are numerous ways everything in this book can be used and where it particularly exels is to provide the starting point for a unique item developed by you. It is actually my favourite crochet book - it sets your mind buzzing with ideas while looking through it, which is a big plus as far as I am concerned. The only down side to this book and really I think it is quite a big thing, is the lack of finishing information - how to join your motives, either as you go, or sewing or crocheting them together afterwards. It really skims over this information and as it is lacking from so many crochet books that might be a bit of a problem; searching on-line will help you find some of the answers. Nevermind though as I still adore this book!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2011 9:39 AM BST


A-Z of Crochet (Crafts)
A-Z of Crochet (Crafts)
by vARIOUS
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: £22.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't cover everything, 6 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I both agree and disagree with previous reviewers. The A-Z of Crochet is a good book but it by no means exhaustive. If you are a beginner then you will learn lots from it. However, it is not an imaginative book and it also shows few examples of finished pieces - the photo's are very utilitarian. It's not a bad first book - although I would have wanted pretty pictures to inspire me to learn the craft. Some illustrative projects would have been good too - it's not a very big book, it could easily have been expanded. It covers quite a lot and I'm pleased that it explains tubular crochet well - it explains exactly where to put the markers in (many books do not). It does not explain circular crochet nearly well enough - it does not tell you how to efficiently increase your stitches each round (there is a formula which does work pretty well but it is not in here). It has different kinds of crochet - Tunisian, Irish and surface for example but I would say it only touches the very basics and does not put them properly in context - what they are and what you can do with them. Crocheting motifs is barely covered - if you count basic shapes they are there and they have a brief mention in Irish crochet. There are no Granny squares or methods specifically for joining them together - this will be disappointing for some. There is little multi-coloured work, a little entrelac but that is all. No jacquard (tapestry or 'picture') techniques. The methods for stitching up crochet are good and they are shown clearly - this was a plus for me. I still don't know how to increase or decrease when crocheting in a stitch pattern and I still have no idea about the basic concepts behind making any shape you like; I know that as geometry is involved in triangles for instance, that if i want a nice shape I can't just randomly increase and decrease - besides all triangles are different; how do I get the one I want? Unfortunately no book I have ever seen covers nearly enough of what you need or want to know. There is some stuff in here that is not clearly explained in other books - but there is plenty missing too. I have a number of books and that is the problem with all of them. There is no one volume book with ALL the information and I have to skip from one to the other, hoping that what is not in one book is covered by another. There are a lot of queries about crochet that I have that don't seem to be answered anywhere! (more the kind of thing to enable me to see HOW it works and to develop my own designs if I want). This is probably a good book to start with but you will need and want more. Crochet books generally are disappointing, there are not enough of them and they are not enough in depth. I find it very frustrating. There is little enough here if you are not a complete beginner.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5