Review: Crocheted Succulents


Emma Varnam – you’ve done it again lovely lady! What can I say, this book is an absolute joy. Written in Emma’s signature style, full of fun and mischief, this is a book that has even entranced my non crochet friends.

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Emma’s work, she has a generous spirit,  a cheeky sense of humour and a talent for getting her designs “just right”. I cannot tell you how much I envy and admire her in equal measure! I was fascinated to read the story behind this book on her blog –  she is quite honest about how this could easily have been the book she never wrote – thank goodness she did!

So, what can I say about this wonderful book, filled with a mix of easy, challenging and frankly irresistible cacti patterns. Each design is beautifully photographed and Emma has taken great care to provide each plant with it’s perfect pot and has clearly put as much thought into the presentation as she has the designs themselves. The 25 designs use a wide variety of yarns. Cotton, acrylic and eyelash yarns are used to add realistic details. There is a comprehensive techniques section and plenty of advice for making sure your designs look great. Even patterns for the plant pot soil are included.

It’s hard to find fault with this beautiful book – it’s obviously been a labour of love – so much thought and hard work has resulted in what will be a hugely popular  addition to many crocheter’s bookshelves.

Crocheted Succulents by Emma Varnam is published by GMC and is on sale now.

ISBN: 9781784945046

RRP: £14.99


Review: Noro Kureyon 3oth Anniversary Collection

9781942021889lgI fell in love with Noro yarns when I first began work in a yarn store and it wasn’t long before I completed my first project in Noro Kureyon. I knitted myself a wildly colourful oversized jumper that I wore and wore on weekend family camping trips. It’s still in my wardrobe. A little bit felted and still smelling of woodsmoke, but the colours still make me smile.

To celebrate 30 years since the first Noro Kureyon collection, this book offers a wonderful collection of 30 sweaters and accessories – the ladies at my knit group drooled over it, and it wasn’t long before my review copy found a new home with super knitter S, who will no doubt make “all the things” in due course.

Kureyon is Japanese for “crayon”, which means more if you’re familiar with the wildly random colour changes of this yarn. The designers chosen for this collection have made full use of the colour changes and versatility of the yarn, and it well worth spending a few minutes looking through the pattern collection on Ravelry.


My favourite is Margie Kieper’s “Squared” sweater, which leapt to number one on my “must make” list (image (c) Sixth and Spring), but I’m also hankering after the patchwork Scarf by Jill Gutman Schoenfuss (pictured below), which looks relatively simple and perfect for autumn.


This book is the perfect celebration of everything we love about Noro, the photography and styling show off the designs perfectly and I loved the opportunity to discover new to me designers and plan a winter of indulgent knitting. This summer heat might not seem like the best time to be thinking about sweater knitting, but for me it’s perfect. I can pore over beautiful books like this one for hours, adding yarn to my wish list. And, when my birthday comes around in October, I’ll have a ready made list for my family to order from – the only way to guarantee I’ll get exactly what I want!

Buy this book for yourself, or as a gift and you’ll treasure it. It’s  not just as a source of beautiful, desirable and practical designs, it’s a gorgeous book to brighten the dullest days and transport yout to Noro’s wonderful world of colour.

Book details:

Noro Kureyon: The 30th Anniversary Collection has 144 sumptuous pages of patterns and photography for knitters of all skill levels to drool over.

Published by Sixth and Spring with a cover price of £19.99, it’s available here or from your favourite book shop.

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