Tag Archive: how-to



Loom Knit Safari CollectionLoom Knit Safari Collection by Scarlett Royal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can finally give a review of this book! I made each and every animal featured in this book. Yet I have to take responsibility for the less than 5 stars here. That makes me a little sad. You see, I am not as good at reading patterns as I would like. I have been loom knitting since about February of last year. Mostly I feel I have learned to watch YouTube instructions better and better. In the process, I am gaining the ability to read patterns, but still not there.

What does this have to do with the book? Well, each of the patterns in this book has a corresponding tutorial on YouTube. Except for the giraffe. That one leads you to a Ravelry page with a picture of the giraffe but nothing else. So there was my problem. I only had the pattern and did my best to help the giraffe come to be. I think I did okay. If you follow my blog you will see my nearly finished giraffe and a hat to go with it. I need to add eyes. I want to make the long lashes I love so much on giraffes so for now, the baby is sightless.

Oh, the other problem I have to own is my inability to count. The poor lion had a few curls that were a bit too long. But that is not the fault of the author. She did a fantastic job writing the instructions and filming the tutorials. Maybe she could teach us some hints as to how she keeps track of small rows and the like?

Anyway if you go to darsword on wordpress you will see my results. (I can’t put an URL on here. Hope you can find me.) This book was reasonably priced. I just wish I could afford Scarlett Royals other books. She is a great designer of loom knitting items. I can’t wait to learn more from her.

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Here are pictures of what I have made:

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I made the elephant first. Since the yarn is donated I often don’t have the right colors or enough of said colors. Hence the psychedelic elephant.

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I didn’t like how the monkey’s muzzle turned out so I added lips. I don’t have glass eyes that Scarlett Royal suggests. So I made these on the spool knitter. The lips I did that way, too. The hat is Tuteate’s pattern. I followed her tutorial on YouTube as I do most of my knitted things. The reason I made a hat with ears is I made most things with the donated yarn for charity and my group said that they gave my things to the local clinic. I thought that the hat and monkey would be fun together.

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See what happens when I run out of the right color yarn? Colorful arms! I still haven’t made the eyes for this guy. Again, I don’t think the glass eyes would be good if the recipient of the gift might put them in their mouths and choke. My brother suggested whiskers. You can’t see them very well here but they are there. The nose was done on the spool knitter.

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The giraffe was the hardest as I had to use just a pattern. Still, I think he turned out okay. I still need to make the eyes. I hope I can make eyes with long lashes like real giraffes have. The hat was the Tuteate patter except I used the ear pattern from Scarlett Royal’s animal patterns so I didn’t have to sew it on. And I didn’t close the way Tuteate does hers. I used Scarlett Royal’s Kitchener stitch to close. I think it worked out quite well. Oops, I just noticed I need to sew close the ears. Well, I wasn’t finished when I finished the book. If I think it makes a big difference I will post the finished products here.

And though he isn’t in the book here is another stuffed animal using Scarlett Royal’s YouTube:

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My friend suggested steam or flame from the nostrils so I added a those bits.

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Eyes are done on the spool knitter. Since this is going to an adult I will get the glass eyes instead.

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I love how the spike knit up. I added the wings from Scarlett Royal’s bat pattern. I will add pipe cleaners to these so they can stand out. I made this dragon with my own materials is for one of my best friends who is crazy for dragons.

20170715_13272820170715_13275120170715_132803I love him! I can’t wait to make more of him for me and my other friends who are dragonphiles.

But will this next one has nothing to do with the book it is the latest of my tiny dolls. This pattern is by Denise of LoomAHat. This is the cupcake doll. I added the ears–just because I wanted to! These are so fun and easy and versatile. This will go to the clinic.

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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the WorldFluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this a couple days ago. No, I was not in the haze of wanting to stay with the story or characters. This is a non-fiction about learning other languages. I didn’t want to leave this one because it helped me so much and I want to re-read it a lot more times.

As many of you know, I have been working with Duolingo learning Spanish and German. I have taken two levels of both in school but would like to be fluent in both of them. Right now I can read a bit but I feel so very elementary in both of them.

There are so many good ideas on how to learn a language and get to the point of fluency! And I read this using the Audible with the author’s voice. What a delight to hear his accent and enthusiasm! And he is a polyglot. For those of you like I was, who don’t know, that means he is fluent in many languages, all learned since he was an adult.

The best part is that there are web-links to study certain aspects of each chapter. I didn’t follow those with the first reading, but I will with the next. And I will take notes and make flashcards.

This is the best book about languages I have ever read. If you are thinking about studying another language, this should be your first book to read to give you the best start.

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Directions on How to Make Plastic YarnDirections on How to Make Plastic Yarn by Patsy Mirtz
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What a disappointment! I do a lot of crocheting with ‘plarn’ plastic yarn. I was hoping to find a book that included patterns and ideas. In fact, the cover is full of pictures of items crocheted with plarn. But the book is only about one way of cutting the plastic shopping bags into strips then looping and winding the plarn. That’s it!

I picked this up for free. Now they are charging $.99. Not worth it. The pictures aren’t even clear. Google Plarn and you will find far better pictures to guide you to making not only this version made by interlocking loops of the plastic yarn, but a fun way to make a single ply version cutting in one continuous strip. And there are so many patterns out there to keep you crocheting even when you haven’t the money to buy real yarn.

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8 Different Crochet Stitches: Learn to Crochet Something New with Free Crochet Patterns
8 Different Crochet Stitches: Learn to Crochet Something New with Free Crochet Patterns by Prime Publishing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here’s another one I picked up for free on Amazon. It is still free today. I love looking at the pictures on my tablet as they are very clear and I can see what the results should look like.

This isn’t a pattern book. If you are an experienced crocheter you have tons of patterns. This gives you stitches that you might include in your work. Some of them I knew, but could never find the pattern that included this stitch. Others were new to me. I can hardly wait to try them out!

If you like to crochet and need pictures to help you out, this is the book for you. Oh, and there are links to sites that will teach you more. This one is a keeper!

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Everything about Rabbits:  Including an Exhaustive List of Rabbit Breeds
Everything about Rabbits: Including an Exhaustive List of Rabbit Breeds by Amber Richards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What can I say? It must have been in one of my weak moments. The picture of the cute little bunnies and a freebie Kindle book. Who couldn’t resist? I grabbed it then sit it aside for another time. And found it again when inbetween fictional stories.

I had hoped there would be lots of pictures of rabbits in this ebook. I love rabbits but there isn’t room in our small apartment for another pet. But at least I could look at the pictures. Nope. The only picture is on the cover.

This didn’t spoil it for me, though. This little book is chocked full of information about finding, care and feeding of rabbits, even a bit on breeding these little sweeties. I was quite amazed at how much there was to learn, beyond what I already knew from the rabbits we had when my adult children were small.

This would be a great book for those thinking of buying bunnies for loved ones for Easter. One needs to know what they are getting into, and there are too many rabbits that end up at the animal shelters shortly after the holidays. For those who are thinking about it seriously, try the shelter after reading the book. Have the home bunny-ready with kitty litter set up. They make great indoor pets. Also, know the breeds so that you get just what you are looking for in a pet.

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Basic Drawing Technique: The How-to Guide
Basic Drawing Technique: The How-to Guide by Dr. Vook
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was one of my first Kindle books. It seemed like a great idea at the time. The only thing I can think of to say is, what if you were only able to talk to your art teacher on the phone. Not Skype, just landline type phone. There would be no illustrations to show how it is done. That is how this book attempts to teach art. Just words. There wasn’t even a passion from the teacher. Just deadpan instructions. Boring.

When I was in high school, I thought all the teachers felt sorry for me. That was why I got A’s in art and music. Then they decided I was so advanced that I was placed in senior lever art while only a freshman. That might have worked for me had the teacher actually taught. Instead, he wrote on the chalkboard all the notes we were to copy down. The notebook was to be the grade in this class. ART!!! When I brought home the note that said I was failing this class my mom went through the roof. She made me stay after school every day to catch up with that notebook. I didn’t fail that class but I did learn a lot about my abilities and lack thereof. I had no problems with creativity. I was not good at taking notes, even when they were spelled out in front of me.

This book brought that nightmare to mind. I am glad I got it for free. I can’t imagine spending $2.99 for this non-art book.

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Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar: How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil To Lose Weight, Prevent Allergies, And Boost Your Immune System
Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar: How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil To Lose Weight, Prevent Allergies, And Boost Your Immune System by Brian Night
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If this were my first book on coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, I might have given the book four stars. The thing is, I found nothing new here. All the information is there along with a few recipes for food and topical applications. It did remind me to make sure to use these two gifts of nature. If you haven’t read about C. O. or A. C. V. this is a good start.

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Coconut Oil: How To Implement Coconut Oil In Your Diet For Weight Loss, Detox And Better Health (Coconut Oil Handbook
Coconut Oil: How To Implement Coconut Oil In Your Diet For Weight Loss, Detox And Better Health (Coconut Oil Handbook by Daniel Adam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is mainly about the benefits of coconut oil. There are a few recipes including a way to use the oil in a cleanse diet. I doubt with my diabetes and fibromyalgia that I will do that fast, but I do feel encouraged to use the oil more often. I do already use it to cook my tofu and pour on GMO-free popcorn and, if I remember, I rub it into my skin or hair. I try to use only coconut oil an not other oils or spreads.

This is a quick read. I recommend it to anyone who is curious about coconut oil

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Blogging for Beginners - Answers to Your Frequently Asked Question

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Blogging for Beginners – Answers to Your Frequently Asked Question by Mark Reinert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you want to sell something. your books, ideas, or start a business, this book is for you. If you are like me and just want to learn how to blog, this book is quite helpful.

When I do decide I want to sell my novels, I will pull this one out of my archive and read it again.

On the other hand, it didn’t quite meet my needs as a new blogger. I am still left with more questions than answers. I know all new pursuits have a learning curve. I think I may be on the upward swing with mine, until WordPress changes the look of something I use on a daily basis, then I am back to ground level struggles.

In an attempt not to be negative, I think this may have enough information out there it is worth the try. It does have clickable links so read it on the Fire or a tablet to get best results.

It took me a while to read this, not because it is long, but because I wanted to absorb the information and see if I could apply it to my own blog. It would be a quick read straight through.

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