*Blows dust off blog*
*Swipes at cobwebs*
*Sweeps away biscuit crumbs from last time she was in here*
*Settles with mug of tea*
Been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that. Life gets in the way and all. It's been a bit quiet around Hookery HQ lately, but now it's time to wake things up a bit. Having been so quiet, I have nothing to tell you about what I've been doing, so let's have a look at what someone else has been up to, shall we?
If you've been to any yarn-y type show or fair, you will almost certainly have come across TOFT. Some of you may remember that last year, Kerry Lord (founder and director of TOFT) wrote a smashing crochet book called Edward's Menagerie. Well, unlike lazy old me, she's been busy lately and so there's a sequel - Edward's Menagerie: Birds.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the new book is that the TOFT range of yarns has had to stretch a bit to accommodate it, so some new colours have been added. Well, how else are you going to make Sophia the Flamingo?
The book is clever. Like its predecessor, anyone can use it, even if you've never held a hook in your life. There are basic body shapes which are common to all the patterns and whether you make a dove or a peacock pretty much depends on how much of a challenge you fancy. As soon as you've grasped the basics, you can crack on with your first bird. If you're a pro and have been whipping up complex projects for years, fine - skip on to the more advanced patterns and have a play with some colour work. It's a book for anyone at any level.
The patterns are cute. Seriously cute. If you're making for small children, great - lots of long legs, necks and beaks to grab hold of and drag about. If you're making for yourself, they'll look equally sweet sat on a shelf or desk.
Also, she's thought of everything. If you've ever felt short-changed in the past by a pattern that ends with something along the lines of 'stuff body parts and sew together', then you'll be delighted to find a little section at the back which takes you through the nitty-gritty of things like assembly, stuffing for that perfect cuddly-toy consistency (rather than toy-about-to-burst consistency), sewing in ends and all the rest.
The layout of the book is easy to follow. There are full-colour illustrations for each pattern and it's a great book to flick through and just enjoy. There are 40 patterns in all, so really rather good value at £15.99, and if you buy it direct from TOFT, there are 10 bonus patterns too!
Now, the giveaway...
If you've ever fancied spending a day ogling 200 alpacas, squidging luxury yarn and scoffing nice buns in a coffee shop, this is most definitely for you. The lovely people at TOFT are having a bit of a jolly on Friday 28th August to celebrate the new book, with free workshops and farm tours. To win a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children), just leave a comment below. I'll pick the winner on Saturday night (the 22nd). NB: TOFT is based in Warwickshire, near Rugby, so you'll need to be able to get yourselves there.