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Hayley Cann (Québec, Canada)
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Broderies en couleurs
Broderies en couleurs
by D. PORTHAULT
Edition: Board book
8 used & new from CDN$ 13.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Joli et original, belle peinture à l'aiguille., May 25 2015
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This review is from: Broderies en couleurs (Board book)
Ceci est un magnifique livre portant sur la broderie traditionelle, et principalement les motifs sont en peinture à l'aiguille. Comme d'habitude Porthault, nous offre des motifs bien balancés, de jolies couleurs et certaines pièces d'un look contemporain. Comme les ouvrages sur la peinture à l'aiguille, il n'en pleut pas, c'est un livre à ne pas manquer.

Knitting Fresh Brioche: Creating Two-Color Twists & Turns
Knitting Fresh Brioche: Creating Two-Color Twists & Turns
by Nancy Marchant
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.52
19 used & new from CDN$ 17.52

5.0 out of 5 stars I can't put it down. Love the look, love the technique, Great book., May 25 2015
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I was never really crazy about Brioche. And I might have gone on a long time without exploring it, except that having seen patterns with Marchant's technique made me very curious to see how they were achieved. When I bought this book, I bought a world of possibilities.

Nancy Marchant is the definitive expert on Brioche stitch and this book proves it. Not only are we playing with brk and brp, but we're working with twists and turns and all of the stitch patterns in the book are worked with two colors. The result is a crop of stunning pieces with intricate motifs and dazzling texture. Her technical prowess is undeniable, and she shares her insight in details, with an emphasis on making the work as clear as possible without knitting the piece for the reader. I can't help gushing, but Marchant's and her editor(s)? have worked hard and it shows.

My first impression of the patterns is that I (who considers myself an experimenting and daring knitter) would be completely lost trying to replicate the patterns and the stitches in the book. I even set the book aside for a while, thinking that even though the look of the projects was beautiful, it would be too much of a hassle to knit. Then I decided that I had to try. The learning curve is there, not only because you have to pay attention to your knitting, but also because the charts look very different than usual charts, with different symbols that don't look all that much like what the knit piece will look like. But it doesn't take too long to get accustomed. And once you get the hang of it, which comes relatively quickly for an advanced technique, knitting it is a lot of fun, and not tedious at all.

The book contains a lot of clear and precise instructions, and a lot of step by step pictures of the technique such as a two colour cast on, two colour bind off, brk and brp increases and decreases, how to weave in your ends. There is a section on how to fix your mistakes, which is helpful. Probably the most important part of the technical discussion is how to read the charts. The author does provide written instructions as well, but working from the charts, even if it seems daunting at first, is incredibly better, in that it's really hard to keep track of where you are in the written instructions. Thankfully, it's well written, and the author gives a lot of examples and explanations.

There is also a section with stitch patterns, which number 70 different variations on two colour brioche. There are also 12 patterns, mostly scarves, but there are also two nice cowls and one absolutely stunning small shawl.

Finally the book ends with three appendixes which contain instructions/tips on how to convert flat two colour brioche stitch patterns to circular two colour brioche stitch patterns, how to convert two colour brioche patterns to one colour brioche patterns, flat or circular, and a short section with tips on how to expand on the stitch dictionary of the book.

By Nancy Marchant Knitting Fresh Brioche: Creating Two-Color Twists & Turns [Paperback]
By Nancy Marchant Knitting Fresh Brioche: Creating Two-Color Twists & Turns [Paperback]
by Nancy Marchant
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from CDN$ 38.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant book. I wish there were more like this., May 25 2015
I was never really crazy about Brioche. And I might have gone on a long time without exploring it, except that having seen patterns with Marchant's technique made me very curious to see how they were achieved. When I bought this book, I bought a world of possibilities.

Nancy Marchant is the definitive expert on Brioche stitch and this book proves it. Not only are we playing with brk and brp, but we're working with twists and turns and all of the stitch patterns in the book are worked with two colors. The result is a crop of stunning pieces with intricate motifs and dazzling texture. Her technical prowess is undeniable, and she shares her insight in details, with an emphasis on making the work as clear as possible without knitting the piece for the reader. I can't help gushing, but Marchant's and her editor(s)? have worked hard and it shows.

My first impression of the patterns is that I (who considers myself an experimenting and daring knitter) would be completely lost trying to replicate the patterns and the stitches in the book. I even set the book aside for a while, thinking that even though the look of the projects was beautiful, it would be too much of a hassle to knit. Then I decided that I had to try. The learning curve is there, not only because you have to pay attention to your knitting, but also because the charts look very different than usual charts, with different symbols that don't look all that much like what the knit piece will look like. But it doesn't take too long to get accustomed. And once you get the hang of it, which comes relatively quickly for an advanced technique, knitting it is a lot of fun, and not tedious at all.

The book contains a lot of clear and precise instructions, and a lot of step by step pictures of the technique such as a two colour cast on, two colour bind off, brk and brp increases and decreases, how to weave in your ends. There is a section on how to fix your mistakes, which is helpful. Probably the most important part of the technical discussion is how to read the charts. The author does provide written instructions as well, but working from the charts, even if it seems daunting at first, is incredibly better, in that it's really hard to keep track of where you are in the written instructions. Thankfully, it's well written, and the author gives a lot of examples and explanations.

There is also a section with stitch patterns, which number 70 different variations on two colour brioche. There are also 12 patterns, mostly scarves, but there are also two nice cowls and one absolutely stunning small shawl.

Finally the book ends with three appendixes which contain instructions/tips on how to convert flat two colour brioche stitch patterns to circular two colour brioche stitch patterns, how to convert two colour brioche patterns to one colour brioche patterns, flat or circular, and a short section with tips on how to expand on the stitch dictionary of the book.

Finish-Free Knits: No-Sew Garments in Classic Styles
Finish-Free Knits: No-Sew Garments in Classic Styles
by Kristen Tendyke
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.29
32 used & new from CDN$ 15.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, understated and elegant designs., Feb. 11 2015
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It's not like seaming up knits is that big a deal, but to most knitters it's a pet peeve. This book proposes 19 projects without sewing, seaming or grafting. Personally, I've come to grips with finishing, and I find that sometimes it adds a great deal to the project, so for me the attraction of this book has nothing to do with seam-free knits.

Frankly the appeal of this book for me is how most of the designs are absolutely gorgeous. There are a few designs I don't really care for, but there are quite a few knock-outs to compensate for them. The designs are elegant, classical, flattering, show off the technical prowess of the knitter in simple ways and are very wearable. They make me want to put aside the three or four wip's I have right now and start knitting me something from this book.

The projects are tank tops (2), a dress, a top ( the one on the cover), tunics (3), a shrug, pullover (5), a hooded vest, more tops (3), a bolero, cardis (2). It seems to me more than half the projects are knit from the top down, but there are quite a few that aren't. The decorative techniques used range from lace knitting, cables and also a fair isle pattern. Most of the patterns are within the possible range of an intermediate knitter. One of the patterns is worked in a bulky weight yarn, but the others are mostly worked with medium to fine yarns, between sport and worsted weights.

Technically speaking the instructions are sound without too much strange stuff to do just to avoid a little seam. Notes and diagrams help understanding the less common ways to work the project. Nothing is overly complicated just for the sake of complication, and the techniques used are not very complex either. One of the designs have pockets which is a nice addition, and there is enough technical advice to understand how this is achieved in the project. There is a short technical section at the back with instructions on different techniques that's not necessarily well thought out for the average reader of this book, but at least it doesn't represent a significant amount of pages with respect to the book.

Another aspect of the book that I appreciate is how the author has taken the time to include a lot of different sizes. Most of the designs (if not all of them) come in 7 size increments, starting at something that seems a very small to something that pretty much looks like a 2-3X. I consider that a great thing, because it saves a lot of people with less standard sizes a lot of fumbling. It also allows for easy modifications if the design is made for someone whose figure is like a pear shape for instance.

I'm very pleased with buying this book and I can't think of the kind of knitter who would not enjoy it.

Royal Airs
Royal Airs
by Sharon Shinn
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
31 used & new from CDN$ 2.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Royal airs, but true heart., Feb. 11 2015
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This review is from: Royal Airs (Mass Market Paperback)
This is set in Shinn's Elemental series that began with troubled waters. The book takes you exploring more of the world of Welce where spirituality is expressed in forms of blessings from five elements. In this world, Josetta is a princess blessed by the element of Air and is happy to be removed from political dealings at the palace. Instead she devotes her time to caring for the destitute in the poorest parts of town. When her sister Corene is rescued by Rafe, a young gambler, she develops a friendship with the young man. Even though everything separates them, Josetta befriends Rafe and tries to help him when he is attacked by ruffians who seem intent on killing him. She wonders could Rafe's past be catching up to him, and what could a spare princess do to help.

First off, the characters are interesting and the intrigue of Rafe's past is intriguing. Josetta is a character returning from Troubled Waters and we are naturally in sympathy with her as she is a strong woman, with noble ideals. The elemental blessings are still a nice plot device, driving the intrigue and giving us some insight into the characters and the plot. The plot itself is well paced, fast enough in the action segments and more leisurely when the characters are introspective. Character development is strong throughout the plot and makes us feel as though we've taken the journey with the characters.

It's a nice book for young readers, not condescending in the least, and just well written enough for young adults to enjoy as well.

Dreamspinner
Dreamspinner
by Lynn Kurland
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.55
24 used & new from CDN$ 5.27

2.0 out of 5 stars and frankly the protagonists are a lot of boring. I had issues with the disappointing denouement of ..., Feb. 11 2015
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This review is from: Dreamspinner (Paperback)
I keep telling myself to consider this a young adult book but it doesn't seem to fit the bill. It has a confused plot, suffers from too much relying on the reader having read previous installments in the series, much more happens to characters who aren't supposed to be the protagonists than to the actual protagonists, and frankly the protagonists are a lot of boring. I had issues with the disappointing denouement of the plot, where nothing seems solved, and you would have to read the next book in the series to get a sense of conclusion to the events in this book. Personally I wouldn't give this to a teenager, because I think they're already too mature for this kind of storytelling.

Dancing with the Stars: Cardio Dance for Weight Loss
Dancing with the Stars: Cardio Dance for Weight Loss
Price: CDN$ 14.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 7.94

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great hybrid between ballroom dancing and a work-out, Jan. 28 2015
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I enjoyed the work-out, but thought that the presentations do not dissect the moves enough. It's like a one and a two, four ... eight. I'm exagerating only a little. Also, consider that a DVD like this should express itself in layman's terms, there is no need to shortcut to technical terms, unless you have explained them first.

Frankly, this is a poorly planned licensed product, in that there is little that actually links back to the show, only the fact that the work-out is inspired by ballroom dancing and it is presented by the pros of the show. There was a potential for so much more, like using footage from the show, or giving a lot more examples of what can be done with the steps that are taught.

As it is it's a forgettable effort.

Altoids Cinnamon (12 1.76Oz. Tins)
Altoids Cinnamon (12 1.76Oz. Tins)
Offered by Outdoor Shopping Canada
Price: CDN$ 92.15

5.0 out of 5 stars They are awesome, with a strong taste that will warm your ..., Jan. 22 2015
They are awesome, with a strong taste that will warm your entire mouth and the sugar doesn't get gummy with time. I'm not going to share the reason I know this: they stay crunchy for years.

Knitting Wizardry: 27 Spellbinding Projects
Knitting Wizardry: 27 Spellbinding Projects
by Amy Clarke Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.15
30 used & new from CDN$ 16.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Unofficial Harry Potter Hommage., Jan. 20 2015
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Maybe it's a good thing the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits could not be bought in Canada (although to be sure this book sells for higher than the magazine,) because from what I can see, this book is really meant as more than just a passing homage to the fantastic series.

The title and the editorial comments might not point to Hogwarts, but even the photos taken in the fantastic context make it clear what they allude to. If you have your hands on the UHPK magazine, double check if you need this book.

First off, this is really a mish-mash in terms of patterns but also in terms of knitting techniques and styles. I would say most of the patterns would be for an experienced knitter or enterprising intermediate. There are lots of lacework, complex cable work, some colourwork, and many of the designs are longer in scope than average. Still there are a few sock patterns and mittens, one or two hats, and a few scarves. So a few patterns are a little easier and/or shorter. A lot of the projects also mingle different techniques for rather nice results, I have to say, and a rather unusual look.

For me, not all of the patterns are knock-outs, but there are quite a few that justify the price of the book on their own. Most of the patterns are stylish, well designed, original, even those I didn't really care for personally, so I can't complain about the quality of the designs. Also, for Harry Potter fans the interest in a lot of the pieces would be justified in a different way, because it might remind them of different parts of the series.

The book promises 27 projects and it delivers the following: 7 tops (sweaters, vests, cardigans), 14 accessories (mitts, caps, socks, arm warmers) and 6 wraps (cloaks, shawls and a stole). So it has a solid array of patterns and even though they come from different designers, the theme is strong enough to unify them in a coherent collection. One thing about the book's editiion, maybe because of its origin as magazine contents, some of the projects are photographed in strange angles or on inadequate backgrounds. There is a project that is probably just a large stole, but is photographed in such a way as to make the view ambiguous and another view of the project shows the wrap on the model's head, as though it had a hood. The project contains no diagram of the shape of the project (and if it's just a stole, that's fine) but considering the pictures, it should clarify what the pattern truly is for. Another projects is a dark lacy cardigan and is photographed against a rather dark background, making its apparent beauty that much less and also removing the reader's ability to look at the pattern to get a sense of fit and construction. Considering there were probably a great deal of photos taken, this is a poor editorial choice, where a certain sense of the esthetic prevailed over the much more useful practicality of seeing the actual work on the design.

Still I'm very glad to own this book and it is going on my keeper shelf. I am inspired to pick up needles and thread to make something in spite of a long backlog. The book is a success.

Winning Miss Wakefield: The Wallflower Wedding Series
Winning Miss Wakefield: The Wallflower Wedding Series
by Vivienne Lorret
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 6.50
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars I confess to not having given this a good and long chance, Jan. 19 2015
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I confess to not having given this a good and long chance. But the writing is very verbose, with flowery descriptions, with a little something twee. It was impossible for me to get into in order to give it a fair shake.

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