Of “Crochet Scarves”, Carrots and Sticks

In keeping with my previously established, more disciplined approach to newsy important posting (as opposed to the manner in which I present the more imaginative, inconsequential posts), I am telling  you up front that today you have an opportunity to win a copy of my friend Sharon Silverman‘s incredible new book, Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions – Various Techniques (Stackpole Books, 2012).  I guess that’s your carrot.  🙂

It occurs to me that the efficacy of the whole carrot (the reward) and stick (the threat) thing completely depends upon your species, your point of view and inclinations.  If you’re a pony, then OK. Consider my dog.  To him, carrots are not edible (this is the little brat who often behaves as though dog food isn’t edible, either.)  Put a carrot in his dish and he’d probably sniff it, scratch all around the dish for a few minutes, push the carrot out of the dish, toss it around the floor for another few minutes before beginning to whine. But present him with a stick… WOWSERS, a stick! He’ll chase that stick until he collapses in panting exhaustion. So to him the carrot is the threat; the stick the reward. Speaking as a person who doesn’t care much for carrots, I’d be much more motivated if you dangled chocolate cake instead. And if the stick can be used to hold crochet stitches, then that’s going to be more intriguing than threatening.  It would have to be something totally horrible, like, say pattern sizing, to be a true threat.  If offered the chocolate cake or the pattern sizing, you could get me to pull the cart, no question. See what I mean?

So for the sake of a better figure of speech, I should really let you fill in your own choice. Sharon’s new book, Crochet Scarves is [your reward here]. Turns out Sharon Silverman and I are practically neighbors.  We finally met face to face last spring over some evil orchids.  But that’s another story.

The concept of this book is quite brilliant.  In Sharon’s hands, the lowly scarf becomes the canvas for the exploration of various crochet techniques, ranging from mitered squares to lace and colorwork, broomstick crochet and (what I consider to be her specialty) Tunisian crochet. Each of the 21 scarf projects is accompanied by an achingly complete tutorial, including step-by-step images of hands, hook and yarn, stitch symbol diagrams and close-up shots of the fabric.  No matter what sort of learner you are, Sharon’s got you covered.  Not only do her lessons prepare you to make the scarf designs in the book; this is stuff that will boost your confidence when working on other people’s designs (including mine!).

While Sharon’s scarves are the perfect teaching tools for techniques, they are also majorly wonderful opportunities to experiment with different yarns.  Many of the projects require just one skein of fabulous yarn, or one skein of each color. I have two favorite designs.  Cactus Lace alternates broomstick with rows of double crochet to great effect.

Electric Lime is an awesome way to make variegated yarn look good in crochet.  It is done in Tunisian net (also called Tunisian full stitch) that allows the color changes to overlap, like bargello. Clever.

My blog today is merely the first stop on the tour for Crochet Scarves, a month-long celebration.  Check Sharon’s website and Facebook page for the latest links and book giveaways.

Now the exciting part. Please leave a comment below to enter a drawing to win a copy of Crochet Scarves compliments of Sharon Silverman and Stackpole Books. You don’t have to write anything fancy.  Sucking up to either me or Sharon won’t improve  your chances because a number will be chosen at random.  Yeah, right.  Deadline for comments is midnight Eastern Time, 21 July, Saturday night.  I’ll be back on Monday to announce the winner and award the carrot.  Or chocolate cake.  Whatever. 🙂