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M. Saunders (UK)
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Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner
Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner
by Aneeta Patel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.79

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really only for absolute beginners, 9 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I learnt to knit at junior school, and wanted to get back into it after a 30 year break. I bought this on the basis of the reviews, but have found it's really aimed at complete beginners. The stitches covered are: cast on; cast off; knit (garter stitch); purl (stocking stitch). It goes on to cover ribbing; moss stitch; increasing and decreasing. There is also a simple cable stitch, which is the main new thing I learnt.

There are 16 projects in the book and a lot of them are for babies/ children or are (I'm afraid to say) rather ugly! The baby patterns are: baby booties; baby mittens; baby hat; baby cardigan; child's zigzag scarf; kiddie mobile phone cover. For adults there are several scarves/ wraps: really plain garter stitch scarf; ribbed scarf for men; 'girly' scarf (garter stitch but in nice lacy yarn); a triangular ladies' wrap (also lacy yarn). Home projects: cable stitch cushion cover; moss stitch hot water bottle cover. Other adult items: wristwarmers (nice); garter stitch knitted tie (yuck); cable stitch bag (so-so). Plus a (disgusting in my opinion!) knitted flower. The child's hat and mittens can also be made up in adult sizes but they really don't look very nice (and of course have seams since this book doesn't cover knitting in the round).

On the plus side, the illustrations are really good; the tips are good; it's helpful about choosing the right yarn types. I really like the format and how it's written, so have ordered the second book - Knitty Gritty Next Steps. In retrospect, I should probably have ordered that one first, and just used YouTube as a refresher.


Bram Stoker's Dracula [DVD] [1993]
Bram Stoker's Dracula [DVD] [1993]
Dvd ~ Gary Oldman
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.19

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faithful to the book, with one crucial exception, 13 Jun. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a huge vampire fan, and the book ranks in my Top 10 so I have a soft spot for this film.

Many of the criticisms already aired are the fault of the BOOK, not Coppola's (well, I guess it's his fault for sticking with them!):-

Yes, the characters are stereotypes. Stoker was a theatre director and the characterisation is very typical of classical theatre - where each character represents one aspect of the human psyche.

Yes, the cowboy seems preposterous - but at the time, Buffalo Bill was touring British theatres and the Wild West was very fashionable. I thought Coppola nicely plays on the Western theme - Van Helsing is the John Wayne of vampire hunters and the wagon chase at the end of the film makes you wonder if the Indians are coming - it's great pantomime stuff!

Yes, the first half hour of the film is gripping - but then the first 7 chapters of the book have often been said to be the best novel opening ever written. The book (and so the film) gets slower and loses momentum thereafter.

Personally I like the fact that the film avoids gore. Not that I've got anything against gore, just that the whole vampire myth is about so much more. There is minimal gore in the book, but lots of psychology and Coppola has been faithful in that.

Where he has been completly UNfaithful, is in the invention of a love story between Dracula and Mina. In the book, Dracula is portrayed as a monster, instilling feelings of hate, loathing, disdain and pity, but never love.

However, I'm a sucker for a love story, so I don't mind that the director has taken liberties (such a big one, that you wonder how he had the neck to call it "Bram Stoker's" Dracula). And the asylum bedroom scene is so damn hot that I'd forgive him anything!!!

To conclude, please feel free to lay most of the blame with Bram Stoker. Then simply imagine you are watching a rip-roaring Victorian drama in Stoker's own Dublin theatre. Hiss and boo at will; cheer the valiant Jonathan (Reeves) - he is after all the only really 'goody' in the piece; and swoon with Winona as the sexiest damn vampire ever struts his glam-rock inspired stuff.


Nell Mcandrew's Ultimate Challenge: Ultimate Results [DVD] [2004]
Nell Mcandrew's Ultimate Challenge: Ultimate Results [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Nell McAndrew
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.21

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing put squats!, 11 Sept. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I do a fitness DVD 4-5 times per week - aerobics, pilates and gym ball. I wouldn-t say I was superfit, but certainly used to exercise! I saw the good reviews, and that-s why I bought it, only to be very disappointed and de-motivated!

I would say this is for the real hard-core exerciser - someone who is already very fit and needs to challenge themselves further.

For me, there were just too many squats - hundreds and hundreds of them. And very little of anything else. It should really be called a Bum and Thigh challenge. But is NOT an all-round exercise programme. It doesn-t offer any easier versions to follow, and even a couple of the demonstrators have to abandon all the reps and just stand at points in the video - there-s no alternative offered.

I also agree with the other reviewer who criticised the camera angles and music - both could have been better!


Aerobics Oz Style - Fat Burner Breakthrough [DVD]
Aerobics Oz Style - Fat Burner Breakthrough [DVD]
Dvd ~ June Jones
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.44

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good all-rounder but unimaginative, 11 Sept. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been used to Rosemary Conley fitness DVDs where the music is real pop music and the routines are very varied.

In comparison, this DVD seems quite unimaginative, although it definitely gets your heart-rate up!

There are 5 sections of around 10minutes each (all adds up to 55 mins as there are breaks of a minute or so between sections:

Warm-up

Section 1

Section 2

Abs & back mat work

Stretch & cooldown

The aerobics sections - Warm-up, Section 1 and Section 2 are basically exactly the same routine repeated again and again. Grapevines, box steps, small squats, full-jacks, step-claps, heel-digs - all very basic. Section 2 incorporates jumps, but there is a lo-impact version to follow.

The abs & back section is nice to do, but could be more challenging. The stretch section is very thorough and I do this section on its own after eg going jogging.

June Jones isn-t bad as a presenter - pretty good with the directions (although not as clear as Rosemary Conley). I found the girls costumes a bit off-putting (basically bikinis) and one of the girls looks like the Hulk! It was recorded on a public beach and there are various members of the public milling around in the background which liven things up when you-re doing the umpteenth routine repeat!

I do a fitness DVD around 4 times a week, and this one maybe once a fortnight.


Gymball (Gym Ball) - Inch Loss Workout - Fit For Life Series [DVD]
Gymball (Gym Ball) - Inch Loss Workout - Fit For Life Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lucy Knight
Price: £5.99

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Beginners, 7 Aug. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had done a couple of gym ball 'taster' classes at my gym and liked it so much I decided to buy the ball and this DVD to go with it. I have lots of exercise DVDs (aerobics/dance) and usually get on fine, but this one has been quite hard work in terms of getting to grips with poses etc.

The instructor does all the poses in advanced mode and her side-kick does demonstrate the easier version, which is helpful for beginners. But even so, some of it seemed very difficult compared with what I've done at the gym.

My main problem has been the speed of changes between some poses, and the space you need to do the workout. In a couple of places, I have to stop the DVD, rearrange myself/ my lounge and then restart. Also, at one point, you have to hold the ball above your head with fully stretched arms, and since I'm quite tall, I can't do this as the ball hits my ceiling!!

Basically, I've decided to buy another ball DVD to see if I get on better with a different instructor.


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