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A. Cruickshank "Alternative Knitter" (UK)

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The Sewing Book
The Sewing Book
by Alison Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.10

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sewn examples anything but professional, 1 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Sewing Book (Hardcover)
Lots of techniques for the beginning sewer, but the photographed examples are shoddy and badly finished. I wouldn't wear anything that looked so cobbled together without an eye for detail. Not inspiring at all. I kept on thinking "you want me to use this technique so my garment looks like THAT? Surely not".
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2014 8:03 PM BST

The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual
The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual
by James Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.96

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, useful and entertaining, 30 May 2012
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This is an extremely useful book for those of us who would love to make our own herbal 'stuff' but don't know how. Green concentrates on a small number of herbs with wide uses, most of which are available (sometimes for wild harvesting) here in the UK, and presents enormous amounts of practical information geared towards lay herbalists who want to experiment with making their own preparations. Use this book for practical, easy to use low-down on how to make creams, salves, lotions, tinctures and many other herbal preparations. Green has a lovely voice and presents his material in an intelligent, entertaining way. Although my herbal library is extensive, I come back to this book again and again when it comes to making herbal preparations.

Basic Psychic Development: A User's Guide to Auras, Chakras and Clairvoyance
Basic Psychic Development: A User's Guide to Auras, Chakras and Clairvoyance
by John Friedlander
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.18

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands the test of time, 21 Jun 2009
I first bought this book many years ago, along with several others on the same subject, and this is the one that has stood the test of time. From this book I learned how to refresh and energize myself, clean my chakras, remove other people's energy and my own energy blocks, and generally do the energetic housekeeping that enables me to feel alert, clear and strong, physically, emotionally and mentally. There are many books on the market about psychic development, but this I still find most useful.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2012 8:47 PM GMT

Crochet Unravelled: A Clear and Concise Guide to Learning Crochet
Crochet Unravelled: A Clear and Concise Guide to Learning Crochet
by Claire Bojczuk
Edition: Paperback

169 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crochet for complete beginners - and for lefties!, 16 April 2006
Claire Bojczuk is a very fine woman indeed. I say she's a fine woman, because she has produced an amazingly clear and simple guide to learning how to crochet - with right and left handers treated with the same respect. The diagrams and drawings are real, that is you can recognize what's going on in them - and she never assumes that as a left-hander you'll just 'work it out for yourself'. All the instructions are 'step by step' and she not only gives written instructions but introduces symbol charts once you've got the hang of the basic techniques. You'll find all the different stitches and techniques on their own pages for easy reference, starting with how to hold the hook and how to make the initial slipknot through to increasing and decreasing and working in the round; nothing is assumed or left to chance.

Claire also explains UK and USA terminology (same words - different stitches!), yarn thicknesses and hook sizes, tension, ball bands and how to read the information on them, finishing, joining work, right and wrong sides and keeping track of your work and the pattern. This is truly a booklet for the complete beginner - you don't need any kind of prior experience, or, indeed, to be a knitter to understand what to do.

There are 11 projects which are described clearly and take you through the basics and beyond. You will find baby bootees and blanket, hair scrunchies, bracelets, bags, pillows, washcloths, a scarf and lace edgings, with and without beads. 64 pages, not an inch of space wasted, light enough to carry with you.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2012 6:49 AM BST

Baby Bloom: 20 Irresistible Knitting Projects for Modern-day Mothers and Babies
Baby Bloom: 20 Irresistible Knitting Projects for Modern-day Mothers and Babies
by Erika Knight
Edition: Paperback

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm in love with Erika Knight, 29 Dec 2004
And I'm in a swoon over her book Baby Bloom. She's given us totally wearable contemporary designs to knit for babies and pregnant women.
Erika's sheer understated class is imprinted on every page. For pregnant women there are seven items, ranging from ruff and tuff day wear to soirée silks. My favourite? A fantastic zip-up striped / fairisle cotton hoodie which unzips from both ends to make room for the bump. Suggested yarn is Rowan All Seasons Cotton - needle size 5mm, normally way, way, way too chunky for me, but I love it anyway. The hoodie is *shaped*, in at the waist, out again, so is totally wearable even when not pregnant. However, there are no schematics to show this, you have to read the pattern to glean those little details. I like reading patterns :)
For mindless knitting there's an incredibly useful, easy big soft unshaped wrap jacket, in rib, to stretch around the bump if required, and around a less than lean middle once baby is born. This in even chunkier Jaeger Chamonix.
This I really love: the wide round neck, set-in short sleeved T-shirt with side-splits and ties. In 4ply Jaeger Cashmina (swoon), but would work equally well in fine cotton or silk or wool. The front is slightly longer than the back and the side vents are in rib. She has it tied with suede ribbon. No schematics, but the pattern is well-written and tells all.
Two cardigans. This is British. We need, we like, we wear cardigans. In whisper-fine mohair (Kidsilk Haze), with round neck set-in sleeves, superbly shaped (read the pattern). The styling is immaculate, with no buttons but organza ties. This cardi won't stretch over a bump, but that means it can be worn afterwards as well. The other cardi is in a lacy, shiny cotton DK affair, deep V down to the ribbon tie around the waist (above the bump) and deep, deep ribbing. No buttons. It's all in the shaping again.
For dedicated evening wear make a superb three-quarter sleeves wrapover top in shiny 4ply (fine) cotton or merino wool, shaped with finesse and trimmed with beaded organza, or velvet, satin, or ruffles to change the look and feel of it. I would knit this with day-wear yarns and trims too. No buttons. And no schematics, but we're used to that by now.
The last design for women is the camisole, sleeveless and with a deep V-neck. The straps are wide enough to cover nursing bra straps. The shaping and detailing are superb again. The suggested yarn is Rowan Lurex Shimmer, but I can see it in any other kind of soft 4ply.
And what about the babies? Sizes are from 'early baby' to 9 - 12 months. In heavier yarns there's a chic chunky sweater, a chunky zip-up cardigan and a very chunky satin-edged shawl. Erika puts the same effort in styling into the tiny garments as well as the adults'. My favourites are an aran weight cardigan, fab pixie hat and a wonderful raglan sweater with buttons down the right front raglan seam. Embroidery optional - I think it would look best with its simple contrast trim.
The papoose, with or without pompons is infinitely variable in DK (Rowan Wool Cotton recommended), just right for tucking in the simple 'Night-time Teddy'.
The lacy bonnet is desperately sweet in Rowan Wool Cotton (DK), and Erika has it styled with big satin bows. My offspring would have had those off within miliseconds, but it still looks gorgeous without. Matching bootees are de rigeur. For traditionalists there is the beautifully shaped matinee coat in 4ply (sizes from newborn up to 3 - 6 months) and the heirloom silk shawl, trimmed with ribbon through the eyelets and much easier and quicker than it looks. For special occasions there's a divine wrap sweater in silk or cotton, with picot edging and embroidered with the same yarn. So subtle and understated but very effective.
I've left the best bit of all to last: Erika's shaping is second to none, and when it comes to baby trousers and pants, she is queen. To go with the chunky sweater - but frankly, they would look amazing with any of the other garments - she's given another pattern for short pants. I love all her others, but this time they are worked in one piece with incredibly clever shaping. She has designed them in Jaeger Cashmina with stripes, but other fine 4 plies would give totally different effects. I can see silk with the matinee coat or wrapover and soft cotton with the raglan sweater.
Are there any drawbacks to this book? Well, what may be seen as drawbacks I may see as advantages, but here they are: this is a true drawback, but is not necessarily a problem: as I've already said, there are no schematics, so one has to read the pattern - and know what one is reading, to work out what the shape looks like. For those of us happy to tackle shaping, that's fine. There are just a few projects which are truly suitable for beginners - like the chunky and aran weight baby sweaters, the chunky shawl and the big soft mummy-wrap jacket. Oh, and maybe the aran weight cardi for babe. The rest require some experience at least. Good. A fair number of the designs are knit in fine DK or 4 ply (fingering). Excellent! Finished chest width on women's garments for largest size range from 96cm (most of them) to 99cm for the hoodie, 100cm for the wrapover top and 106cm for the big soft wrap. That's not exactly stick insect sizing, but one could always size up with bigger needles or thicker yarn. I would be wary of that, as these are not simple shapes.
I want to knit every single item and I am not a little miffed that this type of thing was not around when I was that shape.

The Pocket Atlas Of The Moving Body
The Pocket Atlas Of The Moving Body
by Mel Cash
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: 7.69

113 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New edition *with corrections* superb for students, 27 Mar 2003
The new edition of this little book has all the mistakes corrected which marred the last edition. This makes it the most useful, portable booklet I have seen. It covers trunk and limbs systematically with clear illustrations of the bones and ligaments first, then the muscles in their different layers. It also contains charts of muscles, origins, insertions, innervation and function for each of the muscles by area. Further short sections on joints, posture and movement patterns, types of muscle contraction and muscle fibre types, nerve supply, energy systems and common types of injury make this book invaluable.

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