I have recently discovered this free (but up-gradeable) version of a clever little package called Stitch Fiddler. It has been recommended by several contacts on Ravelry and I have been having loads of fun playing with it.
importing images to be turned into easy edit full colour stitch pattern graphs
storage of a number of projects, when you reach the limit if you don't want to upgrade you can just delete those you don't want.
library of stitch pattern symbols for printing your patterns
graphs scaled for knitting, crochet and embroidery (cross-stitch)
excellent editing suite including colour addition, removal and replacement
DROPS design does lots of nice yarns, usually quite cheap as they are main blends of natural and synthetics, but their free pattern archive and in particular their huge library of video tutorials are a great resource for a knitter or crocheter embarking on a new skill for their portfolio, Thoroughly recommended.
Andean Folk Knits: Great Designs from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador & Bolivia by Marcia Lewandowski
A gorgeous book available from all main booksellers with some cracking authentic designs for accessories and garments, and stitch patterns you can adapt for many different uses.
Additional resources for those of you who are interested in finding out a bit more about South American knitting designs. A lovely little pinterest board to add to your collection. Some hats and gloves to knit which are so colourful you need sunglasses! A real shot in the arm for dull grey winter days.
Irish Crochet Tutorial video
There are lots of brilliant irish crochet videos on You Tube and similar channels, a great way to get your head round this skill. It basically uses the same crochet stitches you learn as a beginner but for creating individual motifs which you can either use as jewellery, appliques, or traditionally connected by an ornamental crochet 'net' to make garments (lots of people use sewing patterns for dresses etc to which they pin their motifs and then create the network between then), This particular tutorial was fascinating because it started with an e-bay purchase, a gorgeous vintage musketeer style collar, and the tutor then recreated the motifs used to copy the original design. Her 'process' is fascinating, and remember, that although traditional irish crochet uses very fine yarn and crochet hooks you can actually use any yarn and hook size, it will just alter the scale but not the beauty of the outcome.
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