A student's family was very sweet to have given me some fabulous Mary Kay Satin Hands products (Mom's a rep) and a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas. The Mary Kay Satin Hands is extraordinary. It's a 3 piece set, most notable of which are the cleanser and the all-day non-greasy moisturizer that withstands hand washes. Marvelous!
I used the gift card for a couple of books I have wanted to have, rather than visit in the library. The first, joins a few other books I have by its author, Edie Eckman. The book is a small one, but a good reference. It's The Crochet Answer Book.
I skimmed it. As a proficient but not extremely experienced crocheter, I like Edie's style of writing and diagramming her designs. I'm sure it's going to come in handy as I progress in my crochet technique. What I really like about crochet is that it's extremely sculptural and how much faster it is than knitting. Over the past 5 or 10 years, crochet has evolved a lot and innovative stitch combinations are resulting in drapey and comfortable fabric that is well suited to garments that are not only on trend, but that look "boutique." My Own Little Crochet U is in stall, just because life happens, but for it, I'm crocheting every motif in Edie's book, Beyond the Square. I also plan to do My Own Little Crochet Grad School by crocheting through her, Around the Corner, Crochet Borders. (Don't ask me in which life.)
The other book I purchased joins another by that author, too. It's Ann Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class.
It's not as though I have a shortage of sock patterns or that I'm unhappy with the techniques I already use to knit socks. I heard two podcast reviews of this book, by extremely competent sock knitters, and they both agreed that the variety of techniques (there's that word again) that were presented, in combination with the DVD that is included, make this an invaluable tome for every sock knitter. Just as I'm fond of Edie Eckman's crochet books, Ann Budd is another knitter/author whose work my brain processes well. The other book of Ann Budd's that I have,which is sort of more like a recipe book than a pattern book, is The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. Unlike what its name suggests, it' isn't best used as a pattern book. What it enables an adventurous knitter to do, is customize patterns or design them with ease. Don't like the neck on the cardi you're knitting? Put a shawl collar on it if you prefer it. Want to make a gloves out of worsted rather than fingering? No problem, there's a gauge chart for that. Making a Tam? Well, do you desire a swirl, wheel spoke or circular center? Ann's got you covered.
I'm looking forward to using both of the Barnes and Noble gift card books. I survived not knitting for almost everyone this Christmas and plan to continue knitting and crocheting garments and accessories for myself. This book will be just what its title says, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns!