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D. J. Cooper (UK)

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Epson Expression Photo Printer XP-750 with Claria Photo HD Ink - Wi-Fi and Touch Panel
Epson Expression Photo Printer XP-750 with Claria Photo HD Ink - Wi-Fi and Touch Panel

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hideously unclear set-up instructions wasted an entire evening, 6 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So I committed the gross error of believing the description of this printer:
"Automatic set-up compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista and Mac OS"

Well, yes, it did connect with the Vista laptop. Then we come to connect to the Windows 7. Not an unusual situation to have more than one laptop in a family connecting to the same printer.

We've now spent an entire evening with the Windows 7 laptop so close to the printer that they're touching and going through the automatic set up process again and again. All you get is a 'failed' message and a really helpful suggestion to try, yet again, what you've just tried umpteen times. No extra help is available. No information in the paperwork that comes with the printer. I can't even find any mention of this issue anywhere on the Epson website.

Finally, right at the bottom of one of the windows, virtually hidden, and with no helpful advice for everyone who will be connecting more than one laptop to the printer, we spot a little button that says "additional computer"

When you click that you can connect a 2nd computer to the printer. It would have been so helpful and so simple to have added a mention of that somewhere in the set up information, but no. Apparently too much to ask.

I will think very seriously before ever buying another Epson product.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2013 2:30 PM BST

No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, 24 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Colour is great for spotting where I've put my kindle. It doesn't add to the bulk or size of the kindle to any great degree but I feel it offers good protection.

Only quibble is that the shaping to prevent the kindle falling out isn't quite perfect - it needs tightening up a wee bit in the narrowest point. If I get round to it then a couple of stitches should fix that, but it doesn't quite work as promised in that respect. Maybe the one I got is just a bit looser than average - it it weren't for that I'd be very happily giving it 5 stars.

Cast On, Bind Off
Cast On, Bind Off
by Ann, Leslie Bestor
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: £11.38

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed book, 24 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off (Spiral-bound)
Book does what it promises very well. Clear illustrations, comprehensible instructions and indexes helpful.
Spiral bound format makes it easy to use & size great for carrying around in project bag

Pure Wool: A Knitter's Guide to Using Single-breed Yarns
Pure Wool: A Knitter's Guide to Using Single-breed Yarns
by Sue Blacker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for knitters who want to expand their horizons, 3 Nov. 2012
Today the Travelling Spinners had their monthly meeting in Middleton, Northumberland. I took along my copy of Pure Wool for anyone who wanted to see it.... everyone wanted to look through it! I did get my copy back at the end of the day though. The group members have experience of knitting and spinning ranging from many decades to a few weeks. Some know a lot about fleece from different breeds of sheep, some are just starting on the exciting adventure and were enthused by what they learnt from the book.

General summary from everyone - a great book with a lot to offer to spinners as well as knitters.

Below I'm sharing the comments I jotted down from most members of the group.

Maureen: I like the way it shows you what each breed can be used for.

Ruth: Excellent book to get people interested in knitting and spinning different breeds

Kathleen: It's really nice and very informative. Good for someone who doesn't know about English breeds of sheep. Something to offer for both novice and experienced spinners.

Chris: The illustrations and photos are great - those of the samples of knitted yarn are especially helpful.

Alison: I just like it.

Sarah: It shows versatility of British wool and proves it's not all for carpets

Betty: Very informative. Good advert for British wool.

Veronica: An excellent source of information about British wool.

Stevie: I don't knit but I'd still buy it. A very good looking book

Fiona: Very informative. I like the history and stories about some of the knitting designs and patterns. I would like a few more breeds.

Sue: A lovely range of patterns to make 'proper' knitted garments.

My thoughts. A beautiful book, superb photography. Interesting and enjoyable read about the sheep and patterns/designs. Great reference information at the back to refer to when deciding how to knit yarn from different breeds. Nice to have some classic, beautiful patterns that will look good for the many years that the knitting in these British breed wool yarns will last.

Final result from the day - most of the group were writing down the details of the book so they could each go and buy their own copy. They felt it had a great deal to offer to spinners as well as knitters.

Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook
Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook
by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a spinners book about wool, 11 July 2011
Essential reference book, beautifully presented and bound, delightful and fascinating to read from cover to cover. If you are interested in sheep and wool, this is a 'must-have' book.

Clear index makes using it as a reference book very easy.

I took it to a big county show with me and everyone, from farmers to knitters, who looked through the book loved it and wanted their own copy.

This is a book that I would classify as an essential resource for any spinner, but also has a great deal to offer knitters and weavers. Deb and Carol set out to try and source as many spun yarns as possible for the breeds in the book and they found many more than I had thought existed - very good news for those who don't spin. This time last year I was a non-spinning sheep and breed-specific wool enthusiast so I know what this book would have been able to offer me then.

It also has a lot of fascinating information for people interested in the sheep and sheep-breed side of things - it is obvious that superb and exhaustive research lies behind this book.

The Land of Painted Caves (Earths Children 6)
The Land of Painted Caves (Earths Children 6)
by Jean M. Auel
Edition: Hardcover

105 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars recommend with a few reservations, 14 May 2011
I knew the date this book would arrive on my doorstep so planned ahead and read books 1-5 in the 3 weeks before.

This very much highlighted an issue that became more obvious as I read through the books in order - they are a series and many (?most) people will have read the previous books. However, and I suspect this comes from the publisher, there is an attempt to make each book stand on its own and not as an integral part of a series - this is a major cause of my reservations about the book I'd waited years to read.

Suggestion to publishers of series books everywhere - respect your authors and respect your readers! All you need to do is have a short section at the beginning of books of a series giving the pertinent facts necessary to understand and enjoy each book if read alone and not part of a series.

I read a lot of non fiction about human evolution and pre-history so very much enjoyed the detail about the painted caves - even if I couldn't quite work out all the modern locations and cave names and match which I've visited. A bit added at the end of the book giving that information and details of the museums and sites that the public can visit would have been lovely.

I was very surprised that the relationships with the Neanderthals wasn't properly explored - it seemed a very strange omission given what I'd been reading in the earlier books that was so fresh in my mind - does this mean there is a 7th book planned? Given the research and discoveries about this area while book 6 was being written it seems very odd that this wasn't covered in the book.

The Mother's Song was repeated too often for me - it actually started spoiling my feelings about it. Judicious use of the cinematic 'fade out' at the start of the song, after the first full rendition in the book, might have been a solution there.

The ending - it didn't feel like the ending this series of book deserves. Again, I'm left wondering about a book 7. Does Jean want to be continuing as a professional writer for the years I expect it will take to write a book 7? Will this series of books go down in history as the 'unfinished series'? Do we await the Hollywood film - Search for the Seventh!

Despite all that it still gets 4 stars. The research was meticulous, lots of new information (even if some of it has become lost in repetition of old information - grrrr publishers and 'stand alone' requirements), fascinating suggestions about how early communities may have interacted and dealt with difficult issues, and, above all, I enjoyed it.

For those who didn't, I'd recommend a 2nd reading with skimming over that parts you'll now know you can skim - it will be a better read!
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2013 5:49 PM BST

Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder
Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder
by Mary S. Lovell
Edition: Paperback

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the sequel to Lovell's Bess of Hardwick:First Lady of Chatsworth, 25 April 2010
Having read Lovell's Bess of Hardwick:First Lady of Chatsworth, I did wonder if this was a sequel. I'd found the original book informative, well researched, and a very good read - in fact I've read it more than once. Fortunately, having spotted the publication date of Empire Builder was rather close to First Lady of Chatsworth, I did a bit of digging round, and was found that Empire Builder is actually the same book, but published in America under the different title.

So if you already have First Lady of Chatsworth, this book is the same, but if you don't, then I highly recommend it if you enjoy reading about the Tudor Period. The referencing and bibliography are good, so worth getting for its factual content as well.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2012 5:10 PM GMT

Sweater Quest: My Year Of Knitting Dangerously
Sweater Quest: My Year Of Knitting Dangerously
by Adrienne Martini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - much promise but missed opportunities., 20 April 2010
The book came with glowing references from a couple of knitting authors whose books I loved reading. When I got to the end of the book I re-read their words of praise and was left confused and perplexed. I'm a Brit, so I've experienced some North American writing that doesn't cross 'the pond' well. This book certainly didn't, despite the author's obvious admiration of people such as Barbara Kingsolver, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee & Annie Modesitt, whose books inform, entertain, and reduce me to tears and laughter, often in the same chapter, and while rooted in their North American culture can reach out to people across the world.

This book isn't going to make it beyond the knitting readership, so some of the descriptions of stitches and techniques were far too basic, and in my opinion not always accurate. I found that tedious.

The multitude of interviews with well known knitters and authors didn't fit with what the book was promising at its beginning. In fact from about half way through the book I got the impression that the author was fed up with both the sweater and writing the book, and this was one way of meeting her page number quota.

There was so much that she could have written about the details of knitting Mary Tudor and it just wasn't there. That was a great disappointment to me. Then some of the choices she made, especially given her ready access to such experienced knitters, just seemed contrived and designed to try and create a funny story. She had available to her all the expertise to ensure she could knit her sweater and have it fit her. A chapter on that process alone would have been incredibly interesting and very helpful to knitters wanting to knit their own Starmore. The incident at the end with the cat and wooly board was very funny but was ruined by her avoiding the too obvious solution to put the wooly board in a room away from the cat and shut the door. She can write amusingly, but incidents like this left me forgetting the occasions when she hits the nail on the head.

She had obviously done some research into Alice Starmore, and had access to, and interviewed some amazing people. But the research seemed to have ignored Alice's own writings in her earlier books. Insight about, "what makes a sweater a Starmore", are touched upon by Alice herself in some of her earlier books. For example in The Fair Isle Knitting Handbook on page 45, when talking about designing Fair Isle, she writes, "I hope that they will inspire you to branch out in your own direction".

I feel that in this book the author, who obviously can write well and amusingly, missed exploring what appeared to be of great concern to her - what she perceives SHOULD be the personality and character of someone with the talent, some would say genius, of Alice Starmore. She wrote about some of what Starmore has written, and is reported to have done and said, in a way that left me feeling she was personally offended by Starmore's personality, and was aggrieved that someone like her should be blessed with so much talent and the desire to share it with others through her work. Perhaps an interview with Starmore herself, and more structured, focused interviews with the people in the book, would have helped the author understand her personal dichotomy and this would have been an interesting and informative read.

I was left frustrated at what this author could have achieved given her ability as a writer, her interest in Alice Starmore, and her access to a number of 'knitting goddesses'.

Finally, a warning to anyone who has been touched by serious post-partum depression/psychosis. Skip the first page - some people have managed to write about their personal experience in a way that is helpful, supportive, reduces stigma, and can even make you laugh while you cry - this author, while I am delighted she survived her personal ordeal, and went on to experience the joy of a second baby unblighted by this serious condition, didn't, I feel, manage to write about it helpfully.

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