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Molly (London)

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Little Charley Bear Soft Toy
Little Charley Bear Soft Toy

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dinky but cute!, 2 Aug. 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Little Charley Bear Soft Toy (Toy)
This dinky little version of Charlie Bear feels well made but even when you know it is "small", it is still surprising to see how small! I feel it's very overpriced for its size, especially when a bigger teddy can cost half as much but I guess we pay for the brand. At least my daughter recognised the character, unlike the children of other reviewers. And his small size actually makes him ideal for 1 or 2 year olds who don't need "big" friends. He can be popped into a bag or pocket.

My daughter loves the Charlie bear tv programme and will watch the dvd on repeat. She was also given the TV, which plays the theme tune on repeat, by an aunt who obviously is having the last laugh. Several months on and she still loves the tv. Where Charlie bear is now is anyone's guess. She was totally underwhelmed with him from the start, which was very disappointing. Someone else gave her a big Tigger, they are still best buddies. She has two Pooh bears and they travel as a cohort. Charlie never found favour and when he occasionally resurfaces, he is very quickly relegated to the bottom of the toybox. Kids, eh?

I have knocked points off for his size and price, I can't really blame him for failing to engage my daughter but there must be something about this toy that doesn't have the same appeal as the TV and DVD. Maybe she'd have preferred the more interactive sleeping Charlie bear toy but he was too expensive to make the Christmas list, as it was this one was bought by a relative, I couldn't bring myself to spend £10 on something so tiny.

Clippasafe Child View Mirror
Clippasafe Child View Mirror
Price: £5.07

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless & Potentially Dangerous, 25 Jun. 2012
I bought one of these a year ago, struggled with it for a couple of months then ditched it. It would not properly attach to the windscreen, it would constantly fall or jump off while driving. It would sometimes fall into the driver foot-well and when it fell and hit me while driving, I decided it was too dangerous to use.

The pivot ball for angling the mirror is so stiff, its a struggle to maneuver it into best position and you certainly can't move the mirror once on the windscreen or it falls off. The slope of the windscreen made it difficult to get a good viewing angle and the mirror shrinks everything making it difficult to ascertain information about your child other than if they are awake or asleep.

Useless but of junk, would give it no stars if it was an option.

Hama Rexton 110 Digital SLR Camera and Equipment Bag - Black/Red
Hama Rexton 110 Digital SLR Camera and Equipment Bag - Black/Red
Price: £25.42

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Buy, 24 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was drawn to this bag due to the brand name (knowing it would be good quality) and by the great saving here. I was expecting a nicely padded bag and read some positive reviews but was still extremely impressed beyond expectation by the bag when it arrived (within a couple of days on Free delivery).

+ Plenty of padding all round
+ Big size would accommodate most bridge and DSLRs without being a huge bag to tote around (I thought it would be smaller)
+ Adjustable/removable internal padding for up to three sections. I have used this to support my small bridge camera (Fujifilm FinePix S2500 Digital Camera (12MP, 18x Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD and my portable battery charger. If you have a bigger DSLR, it would be tricky to fit more than one lens or accessory in this section.
+ Separate pockets for lens cloth (included), empty SD cards, full SD cards, empty batteries, full batteries, all with embroidered logos on them to represent its use.
+ Includes zip-away rain-cover for bag
+ Has tripod carry straps
+ Adjustable shoulder strap
+ External zipped pockets and non-zipped, elasticated pockets - lots of extra storage!
+ Secure closing top buckles and zips shut and is moulded for extra protection and security.
+ Nice colour combination, looks stylish and of quality.

- I find it difficult to get my fingers into the various pockets and also to lift off the lid, maybe this will ease up in time.
- External pockets are all small and central section will contain little more than the camera and one accessory - if you have a big DSLR you may not be able to get your extra lenses etc in it.

Knitting it Old School: 43 Vintage-Inspired Patterns
Knitting it Old School: 43 Vintage-Inspired Patterns
by Stitchy McYarnpants
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat little collection of odd-ball patterns!, 20 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm not sure there is anything else quite like this book, its is almost the definition of "kitsch".

To begin, the title felt very misleading as I flicked through the first few patterns to discover they are all for crochet (which I do intend to learn, but this I was not expecting). There is also the odd sewing-pattern which feels more out of place.

I finally found some knitting patterns, some I love, some I like, some I don't, some are nice but doubt I'll ever knit. However the ideas in the book were excellent and some of them really imaginative. I am really taken by the sci-fi section and will definitely be knitting myself an Enterprise tunic sweater. I also look forward to trying out some of the crochet patterns when I have mastered that skill. Its also nice how toys and accessories are sprinkled within the pattern too.

A lot of inspiration draws from the 60s and 70s, I would have liked a little bit more from earlier eras and maybe a bit of early 80s retro but the book serves as a good reminder of how fun the fashions of the mid-late 20th century could be! I *think* these are all modern patterns not revamped old ones.

Its almost impossible to rate a book as unusual as this, all I know is I like it, I'm glad I bought it and I will use it. I can easily see traditionalists might not be so enamoured with it, but for the "far out" knitter, its a great idea.

Vintage Knits: 30 stunning knitwear designs inspired by original postwar patterns
Vintage Knits: 30 stunning knitwear designs inspired by original postwar patterns
by Sarah Dallas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not so much "Stunning" as "stunned" by this book's paucity..., 20 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was quite excited by the idea of '40s and '50s vintage patterns translated into modern yarns and ideas, but this book turned out to be a huge disappointment. If you're bigger than a 38" bust you can forget finding a top in here that fits unless you can size up patterns. None of the patterns are particularly inspirational and somewhere along the road the vintage look of them has been lost, for the most part the modern samples look loose fitting, too short and generic in style. I could have found most of these patterns online for free in the "easy / beginners" section of pattern websites.

The most off-putting thing about the patterns is the apparent lack of fit - which is what the 1940s/50s were all about! Ease has been added (sometimes even where negative ease should be obvious) and therefore all the tops look loose and have no definition around the waist or bust. Worse yet, most of the sweaters finish an inch or more above the model's navel! Perhaps they chose their models badly, ignoring the need for an hourglass figure - they don't even include a nod to the era with hair, make-up or accessories, everything is very 1990s. In some pictures (e.g. the boxy green cardigan and the black bolero) it is pretty much impossible to see what the finished article looks like due to bad posing or light.

I wonder if they have "over modernised" the patterns or just badly graded them up - not just increasing the waist from, say, 21" but also removing the shaping to suit a modern pear-shaped figure (a completely different silhouette), forgetting that actually it was the foundation garments that did all the shaping work and many '40s enthusiasts know that and wear similar foundation garments.

The instructions do look worryingly brief, with no indication of finished length, waist size etc that we are used to seeing on schematics. The reader is left to judge whether the pattern falls within their skill level.

What was also very disappointing is all the attention is focussed on the modernised result and very little about the original vintage pattern - in fact that is reduced to a tiny thumbnail at the top of the (brief) instruction pages. More history would have been nice and I would love to have seen better pictures of the original patterns (a few make it into a brief feature section in the book) and more examples of other vintage patterns for further inspiration. It would have been nice to see some diversity as well, coats and jackets, combinations, vests, etc. Amazingly there is only one pattern each for hat, scarf, mittens and socks, the rest are all tops and cardigans.

There are one or two nice sweaters with a vintage feel and a prettier look but the rest are simple rib-knit, stocking and lace pattern sweaters and cardigans with few details to them and a couple of (unappealing) camisole vests, hardly inspiring. There are a lot of twin-sets in here, which is one of its limited appeals, as twin-sets seem to have almost died out and I find myself occasionally needing them for costume work. That is about the only reason stopping me from sending this book straight back, although I am tempted to anyway - or to give it to someone who will appreciate the basic sweater patterns and not care about the lack of vintage accuracy.

To give the book some pluses, the quality of the pages and many of photographs is good although often not the clearest view of the garment (the poses are "arty") and I was surprised by, and like, the way that the photography and descriptions of the items are grouped together in the front of the book and then the instructions follow at the back. Unfortunately these fail to be saving graces for a book that is too lacking to even be a photographic reference.

No Title Available

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good substitute, 7 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I make my own laundry powder for which I require Borax, I have been using the hard-to-find "real" stuff but came across this great offer and decided to give it a try. I have to report that not only has it worked as good as the original, I am getting even better results from my laundry - and its better for the skin and the environment. Converted.

Gingher Scissors Micro Serrated Edge/Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears 8' Blunt Tip
Gingher Scissors Micro Serrated Edge/Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears 8' Blunt Tip
Offered by Stuff 4 Crafts
Price: £20.09

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Scissors for the Discerning Dressmaker, 7 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read a lot of great things about Gingher scissors and decided to find out for myself why they get such good press. I needed some micro-serrated scissors so here was my chance.

These scissors are about the going price for the type, but when you hold them in your hand you can feel the quality in them. They have a lovely weight without being too heavy on the hand, they have a very smooth action - and when other reviewers say the "cut like a hot knife through butter" they're not kidding, these cut smoothly and without any effort or drag and with a very satisfying crisp, cutting sound. My edges are noticeably tidier and chiffon and silks really don't shift about with these scissors. They come with a sturdy plastic sheath to protect them when not in use, really good value for money.

NOTE: There are two types of these available, one with a sharp point and these with a blunt point. I wasn't really sure what the benefits were of the two types so chose these because "no snag" is quite important with some of the ladder prone sheers I work with and I don't cut with my scissor tips.

If you are looking for a great quality, satisfying pair of scissors, you won't be disappointed with these. Will now be adding the dressmaking shears and duckbills to my wishlist, I'm definitely a Gingher convert!

Circular Knitting Workshop
Circular Knitting Workshop
by Margaret Radcliffe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

102 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensory delight - the Perfect Gift for a Knitter, 6 April 2012
I have to say this book is luscious, a sensory delight - from the feel of the paper to the muted, bold colours and big photography, it is equally at home on the coffee table as it is in the knitters library. It has the "organic, recycled" look, touch and smell which is so popular at the moment (if you have ever had an Abel and Cole booklet you'll know what I mean). It would make a stunning gift on looks alone. WARNING: it is not a pattern book, but a text book - it states that very clearly in the text.

As for the content, well I am a beginner knitter, I have very quickly latched onto circular needles for knitting flat and am yet to try knitting in the round or DPNs, hence buying this book. It covers knitting flat/round on circular needles and using DPNs as well as converting flat patterns to the round - with advice as to what type of knitting/patterns can and can't be knitted in the round (and therefore does not include knitting types that isn't recommended in the round, e.g intarsia).

WARNING TO BEGINNERS: you need to already know how to do basic knitting (cast on/off, knit and purl) - this book shows methods for doing these but I can see I would never have been able to learn from scratch with this book, however, I can apply my basic knowledge to work out how to do the other techniques. (I actually learned through an online course at Craftsy and own The Knitting and Crochet Bible: The Complete Handbook for Creative Knitting and Crochet which has a much clearer demonstration of the techniques and I use the DROPS website which has very clear, free demo videos.)

There is plenty of basic information in the first couple of chapters to ease you into everything, then it starts with the projects, so you learn as you knit. The basics include materials, several cast on/off methods, methods for connecting the edges, i-cord, magic loop, using two circular needles (and later the knit two socks at once method), hints, tips and troubleshooting (e.g. avoiding visible jog, twisted stitches). For many techniques, if there are different methods these are all illustrated. Lots of this information is supplemented with bold, clear photos - although sometimes plain, colour-coded diagrams would be easier to follow (these appear in the glossary of terms but aren't as easy as those in the Knitters Bible to follow). As far as I can tell, all terminology is American, but since I download patterns from mostly American sites, its an advantage.

The projects are divided by type (hats - gloves - socks, etc.) then each chapter contains several projects each increasing in difficulty. You can choose to concentrate on one type of item, or you can do the easy project in each category then move up a level. Each project has a clear and full list of yarn requirements/recommendations (including yardage), other materials, gauge, etc. and measurements are always given in both metric and imperial. At the end of the project it then gives variations you could try and advice on resizing patterns.

Another CAUTION, the projects are not full sized patterns, this is definitely not a pattern book, its all about learning the techniques. I think this was the appeal for me, apart from loving dinky things, it means you can very quickly learn and cover a technique (e.g. a top down sweater) without having to buy a lot of yarn or spend weeks on the project. Once that technique is learned you can apply it to a full size pattern or start a new technique. This was what sold the book to me over others teaching circular knitting.

I can't yet comment on the accuracy of the "patterns" etc as I have not completed a project yet (although I have been lucky enough to have had this book a month from another UK seller who released it before Amazon), I can't wait to get started, the difficulty is choosing what to do first!

Conclusion: Even if I never made anything from this book, I love owning it as it is just such a beautiful book, it makes me feel happy just to browse through it. As it is, I have learned from it, I hope to learn a great deal more and it is easy to follow, not as rigid as a textbook, but not overly colloquial, Radcliffe starts to make a point and finishes it without straying. Its a book I'd recommend for the advanced beginner, intermediate and those new to circular needles - and as a gift to your knitter friends!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2012 11:56 AM BST

Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide (Creative Machine Arts)
Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide (Creative Machine Arts)
by Claire B. Shaeffer
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every sewer should have this book!, 25 Mar. 2012
I was amazed when this book arrived, I was expecting something much smaller and slimmer, not the enormous, detailed tome that this is. This older edition has a lot of outdated photos (which actually are still beautiful examples of their era) but its really about the fabrics most of which have not changed significantly over the years. There may be a few newer fabrics in the lastest edition but this book covers most every fabric I use and in depth. I have a slimline book on sewing with "special fabrics", now I have a reference that covers almost all fabrics. I'm sure this is going to provide a very helpful companion over the years, it has already answered some of my pressing questions about fabrics I have recently worked with.

The only real drawback for me was the lack of colour photographs. It makes for a duller read and its harder to appreciate some of the fabrics and textures without colour. But for the price second-hand, its still great value. Every sewer should have one.

Mystery in London: On the trail of Jack the Ripper (PC CD)
Mystery in London: On the trail of Jack the Ripper (PC CD)
Offered by crazyukdropship
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Headache inducing 360 degree action!, 11 Nov. 2011
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I stopped playing this game after about 45 minutes because the 360 degree scenes spinning around (very hard to control the speed it moves on a laptop) gave me a nauseas, headachey motion sickness!! Its a shame because I like the concept, it added a trickiness to the hidden object games and it was fun to be able see places in London in this vista, the spinning became too much in the end.

I also noted that the scenes I played seem to have very little to do with the JtR story and was very repetitive in revisiting the same scenes over and over. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything in not completing this game.

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