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Critique Matters

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Hello!

Today I have been working on a novel that I had abandoned. For what reason, I don’t know. I probably got off on another creative adventure. Shocking, huh!

So, here’s what’s on my mind. I’d like to revisit this novel. I haven’t really fully edited it yet, but, I’d like to take an honest approach to getting it published. I know I have work to do and have reached out to groups for some honest critiques, but I thought I’d give my readers a chance at it first.

Let’s be honest, you would be my audience, right? Or maybe intrigued enough to read through this first page and tell me three things:

~ Does it capture your attention enough to turn the page?

~ Are the characters, this far, likable?

~ Should I trash it and try again?

Please leave comments or feel free to email me at Debbuckingham (at) yahoo (dot) com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Thank you! Write On!

Deb


All Lacy Parker wanted was a little breathing room and the only place she could find it was in her bathtub. Even though the bubbles were flat and the water was getting cold, Lacy took this time to reflect on her complicated life, especially the last few months concerning Dawson’s infidelity. The four years they spent married was rocky, some would say . . .  insane.

Dawson was frantically packing for his tour to Iraq; a tour that would hopefully prove more successful on his return.

The letter sat unopened on the kitchen table.  A promise of a new tomorrow felt deep within Lacy’s heart as she heard the front door slam.

“Dawson . . .” Lacy howled louder. “Dawson.” Tears ran down her face leaving track marks through her makeup, only to realize he may not return.

Lacy sank further into her cold water, tears of anger welled up inside. A goodbye would have been nice.

“Hey . . . Lacy,” Dawson’s voice took up the silence, “You here?”

How didn’t he know where she was? Maybe he thought she went outside.

“Yea, Dawson, I’m up here.” Lacy jumped from the tub and wrapped an oversized towel around her thin frame; long blond tendrils lay wet against her shoulders. The knock on the bathroom door indicated Dawson was there.  She opened the door wide enough for him to walk in. Her towel fell to the tile floor as Dawson wrapped his strong tattooed arms around her.

book review, books, deb buckingham, dishcloth diva, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, interweave, interweave store, knitted accessories, tanis gray

BOOK REVIEW: 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories

  

I‘m in love with knitted accessories. From mittens, to hats, to scarves, and oh yes, socks! 

We all love projects that are 3 skeins or less. Think of the investment when it’s more than that. That’s why when I was asked to review this book, I jumped on it. Sweater in 3 skeins or less, bring it on. A cowl using 1 or 2 skeins, oh yes!

Author: Tanis Gray
Paperback: 3 skeins or less Fresh knitted accessories
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 143 Pages
Retail Price: $24.99


I’m going to show you some of my favorite projects in the books. The photography is spot on. There are 25 glorious projects for you to knit. 25 designers. 

This book opens with an introduction by Tanis herself about how magical the process of knitting is.

Here we go:

Of course I’d start with a hat. Melissa LaBarre designed this Little Vine Beret. It’s made up of knit and purls, increases and decreases. Complete with a chart. I truly love this beret. It’s knit with Quince and Co yarn.

Another favorite design of mine is the A Case of Lace Socks. Though, it’s a bit intense with its cabling detail, the end result will certainly leave you feeling satisfyied. 

My third favorite design is the Right Round Mitts. Truly a quick knit. The lace repeat is easy to memorize and mirrored. 

What do you think? 

My overall impression is: 

1. You should go out and buy 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories. 
2. You need to know if you are NOT a chart person, this book may not be for you. It it filled with them on most patterns. With that said, there is a great selection of patterns that do not have charts. 
3. This price point for this book is great at $24.99 with 25 patterns. That $1.00 a pattern. 
4. Christmas is coming and I’m sure theres someone on your list that you still need to knit for, right?

It’s an accessory book that will keep you knitting. The photography is beautiful, the color choices in yarn are beautiful. 

So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won’t be sorry. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb

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Book Review: Brioche Chic 22 FRESH KNITS for women & men

How many of us have always wanted to learn the Brioche stitch, but was too intimidated to try?

*raising hand*

Well, let me tell you, this book leaves you fearless when it comes to the ever-so-intimating Brioche stitch.

Author(s): Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Paperback: Brioche Chic: 22 Fresh Knits for women & men
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 152 Pages
Retail Price: $26.99

Let me give you a virtual “tour” through the book:

The book opens with Brioche Basics. Ok, here you go…non intimidating step-by-step instructions that will leave you feeling as though you have worried for nothing. I, recently decided to break out my yarn and needles (shocking, huh?) and get to work on this stitch.

Magic!

It IS a bit of extra effort, but the minute you see the texture appear and your piece come to life, it will seem quite obvious.

Helpful tips along the way to ease the “pain” a bit. Go slowly! That’s what they suggest and that’s what I suggest.

Next appears the beautiful 22 patterns. The photography is awesome, with colorful yarns and simple textures. Everything from a basic Brioche scarf, to an Arrow Yoke Cardigan. 


Arrow Yoke Cardigan

Other projects in this book are pullover sweaters for both women & men…
A beautiful pair of mittens. It has a matching hat. So love this.
And this Star-Crown Beret is a definite in my que.
My love for knitting cowls is endless. I adore this project. It’s a Reversible Scarf, loop, circle. Wear long or wrap twice to create YOUR favorite look. 
What do you think. I’ve only given you a hint of what’s in this book, so you’ll run right out to your LBS (Local Book Store), LYS (Local Yarn Shop) or Interweaves website to get your hands on it. 
I give this book a *thumbs up* for photography, original design, creativity, and choice of projects. I feel it’s worth the buy and a chance to try a stitch you may or may not have tried. 
So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won’t be sorry. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.
Knit On!
Deb


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Book Review: New American Knits – classic sportswear patterns

Interweave has asked me to do another great review. You are going to love this one. 

It’s all about applying traditional knitting skills and motifs to contemporary wearable pieces. It’s textures and colorwork will create a modern wardrobe you will absolutely love.

Author: Amy Christoffers
Paperback: New American Knits
Publisher: Interweave
128 Pages
It sells for $24.99.

If I could sum up in one word, okay, maybe several, I would say, This book represents what knitters want to knit. Me included. It contains wearable pieces that are classic in style, yet simply sophisticated, with a modern flare . 

Amy has obviously taken her inspiration from what’s hot right now and functional, and projects that have that nostalgic feel and perfect for the modern lifestyle. With everyday sweaters and useful knitted accessories, Amy has created patterns that knitters will LOVE to knit, as well as the finished products. 

Amy states: “I’ve named each of the pieces after an American artist that I find particularly inspiring. I hope you are intrigued enough to investigate them!”

Let’s take a peek…

There are 20 patterns that include: sweaters, hats, shawls, cowls, mitts, tunic, pullovers, turtleneck, hoodie and more. 

This van der zee cloche is the perfect quick knit gift, a simple beanie for a man or a woman. Leave on/off the embellishment to suit your taste. 



This cowl is my favorite of all the pieces. Many of you know me well enough to know this information. This Tanner Cowl is the perfect introduction to knitted lace, eyelets and working in the round. I’m super excited to knit this up for my fall wardrobe. I even LOVE the color in the Manos Silk Blend yarn she chose. 



Okay, knitters, you know you love these as much as me. These Parrish Mitts are adorable. The colorwork creates a painted look, and the floral motif adds an image that adds dimension. Yummy!

You all know accessories are my things. But, I love this sweater. The Remington Cardigan has a feather motif with a V-neck, dart shaping, traditional decreases at the neck edge. It’s incorporated into a lace motif adding a big  of embellishment. I’ll be casting this one on really soon. Who’s going to join me?

 

As you can (clearly) see, I’m in trouble, yet again. 

I totally recommend this book. I mean, I seriously do! It’s full of great photography, well written patterns, a plethora of additional knowledge that will give you the confidence you need, if in fact, you need it. Amy has included abbreviations and techniques in the back for reference. 

Again, It’s published by Interweave, the name of the book is New American Knits, and all the sorted details can be found HERE. Please click over and see for yourself how beautiful this book is. I wouldn’t steer you wrong, I promise! You will find many reviews that will convince you it’s a good value for the money. 

Also, check with your LYS, I’m sure they ALL have it. 

So, with much love knitters,

I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even see some finished work.

Knit On!

Deb

amigurumi animals, book review, crafting projects, crochet, crochets softies, deb buckingham, design, dishcloth diva, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, interweave, mollie makes designers, quilts

Book Review: Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

With the help of Interweave, I’m thrilled to do (yet) another book review for you.
Are you a Crafter? I am. I believe that most knitters are also crafters of all sorts, well, in my circle of friends, anyway…

Paperback: Molie Makes Woodland Friends: More handmade projects for the home

Publisher: Interweave Language: English
It sells for $12.95 US
That’s a steal. For 18 knitted, stitched, crocheted, and paper-crafted projects, all with a modern take in their signature styles, with a touch of “quirk thrown in.” Why wouldn’t you buy this? 
I truly believe the cover of the book can make or break your decision to pick it up/buy it. Am I right? 
Look at it! 

The cover is truly your inspiration. The cute Woodland Walk Quilt, the Tissue Box Cover, the Animal Pictures on the wall, the Badger Pillow sitting on the chair…

This book is part of their squirreled-away collection of nature-loving ideas from their favorite Mollie Makes designers. How fun is it to create something fun, modern, yet a bit quirky for your home? Sit down for an evening or take a weekend and create one or more of these fun little projects.

You can use your sewing machine and create the Woodland Walk Quilt. It measures approximately 35 inches x 43 inches. The perfect size for snuggling on the couch with, or wrapping up to read a good book. Maybe your child needs a cute accent to their bed. Or you have a baby shower coming up and need a fun, quick gift. Oh, that reminds me…I do!

How about knitting (now there’s a fun idea) Hanna Hart’s Flying Fox draft excluder. Total Fun! He (or perhaps, she) is on my to-knit list. He’s approximately 35.5 inches long, excluding his tail. And 12 inches around. He’s easily adjustable to fit your door by knitting longer or shorter.


If you’re in the mood to crochet, how about stitching up the Tissue Box Cover. It’s made up of four panels; rabbit, fox, bear and a deer. Each is crocheted seperately then stitched on. Super Duper Cute. This one, I will make for my granddaughter’s bathroom. 

Maybe, you feel like more crochet. Why not stitch up these cute Crochet Shelf Ornaments. Perfect addiction to your desk (I’m making some), or your bookcase. Each cute creature measures approximately 5 inches high and about 6 inches long from the tip of their paws to the tip of their tails.

Ok, I’m always in the market for another mug rug. Have you discovered their simplicity yet? They usefulness? I have one that was given to me, from a fellow quilter, in an exchange. I use it daily when I’m sitting working away at my desk. 

These are cuter than any I’ve seen. Seriously!. Each mug rug measures approximately 8.5 inches x 4.5 inches and are just the right size for a large mug (is there any other size?) and your favorite sweet treat. Did someone say coffee break? The project has a fun technique known as reverse applique. All you need to know is included in the book. 


Ok, the final favorite project of mine in this book is the Badger Pillow. Super Cute! Add a bit of charm to your stack of quilts, or perhaps sit him against your favorite books on the shelf. This project is simple enough to finish in an afternoon and can be stitched by hand easily, or use your machine for speedy project making. 

Of the 18 projects in the book, these are what I’ve que’d up for myself. Ok, let’s be honest, I’ll probably make each and every one of them, as they seem quite easy, or should I say the designers have written the instructions so that anyone will not have a problem with them. 

Each project is accompanied by step-by-step written instructions and clear photography. Something that is important to this Diva. The tried and tested tips thrown in help you feel confident in your skills and give you the best projects ever. 

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends has thought of everything, and has been included in the back of the book: templates for your convenience and instructions on enlarging for best results, stitches used in the projects and how to work them, and a chart for the hand stitched Squirrel Hand Warmers.
 
As you can (clearly) see, I’m in trouble. No, not by anybody but me. Yes, I have things that need to get done, work related, but there’s always time for some project making that doesn’t involve work.

So, I totally recommend this book. I mean, I seriously do! It’s full of great photography, fun and informative projects, along with a variety of fun tips and tricks to help you throughout the projects. Go check it out. Order it online at Interweave and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

So, as I always say,

Knit On! (Or in this case, Stitch, Crochet, Sew, Knit On!)

Deb



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It’s Friday

I’m sure for most, Friday is the day in which things are beginning to slow down. Not for me! I seem to get my mojo going into the weekend. I mean, I just spouted off a list of to-do’s to my husband while we were driving home from breakfast. His comment, “Why don’t you write them down in jotter (a cool app). That way you don’t have to remember them all. And, you don’t feel like you have to do them all.


Really?! Ms. I-Need-To-Check-Everything-Off-My-List-Almost-Immediately. Well, (almost that is). 

Let’s create the list right here:

1) Pics for new dishcloth designs (done)
2) Pics of new baby blanket – find a place I can take them
3) Write up the all three designs
(Ummm…maybe he’s right.)
4) Knit a new set of crochet dishcloths for my Etsy shop
5) Do book review for Interweave
6) Create one more design (to make a set of three dishcloths)
7) Submit dishcloth set to Knitpicks for possible approval
8) Create first-ever BLOGcast post and get ready to launch MONDAY! *squeee*
9) Edit pics for new designs
10) List new designs on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and Pinterest


Sneak peak into the book review

Sigh…that’s enough, Deb, Right?

So one of the 10 is DONE!

I’m sure you have a to-do list. Let’s commit to getting them checked off. 

I need to find some time to knit some fun stuff too. What will that be?

So, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb